Thanks to a second fastest time in Q1, Bo Bendsneyder qualified in sixteenth for the GP of Portugal. It was the fourth time in a row that the Dutch rider of NTS RW Racing GP managed to reach Q2. Teammate Dominique Aegerter stranded in eighth in Q1, which means that he starts the race in Portimao at 13:20 CET from place 22.
Aegerter was unlucky in FP3 by missing valuable track time due to an issue with electronics. As a result, the Swiss did not have the opportunity to make a serious bid for direct placement for Q2. Bendsneyder did have that chance and came very close, but just missed it, in sixteenth position.
In Q1 both NTS RW Racing GP riders were in the mix for the first four places. Aegerter just couldn’t hold on and finished eighth with 1.43.814. Bendsneyder was on the brink of missing out as well, but squeezed out a 1.43.280 in the final phase, which was good for second place.
In Q2 Bendsneyder improved that time a few times. With the first improvement he was initially in tenth place, but a handful of other riders were just a little faster at the Portimao circuit. Unfortunately another improvement, to 1.43.013, didn’t bring a better position. With the sixteenth fastest time Bendsneyder was only 0.470 away from the fastest time. The differences are so small, tenth to seventeenth are divided by less than a tenth of a second.
Bo Bendsneyder: “It was a good day, with good lap times, but I'm not happy with the position. Seven hundredths of a second only is the difference from tenth place. That does hurt a bit. On the other hand, we have to be satisfied, because we have made a big step and we are in good shape, with a good pace. In Q2 I improved my time riding alone. That is very positive. I am ready to fight in the race.”
Dominique Aegerter: “It's a shame that I missed time this morning due to a technical issue, to get used to the bike and the track a bit more. As a result, I was just short of being able to take the next step and grab a few extra tenths. Maybe we can find something in the warmup tomorrow. Either way, it will be a long and physically demanding race. I expect that we have a good chance of being able to fight for the points, because the bike and the grip are excellent.”