In the final lap of the free practice at the Bugatti Circuit in Le Mans, Bo Bendsneyder managed to set a fast lap that helped him get a provisional place in Q2. 1.37.101 was good enough for twelfth place in the Moto2 field that is close together. NTS RW Racing GP teammate Steven Odendaal also took a few big steps forward to the 23rd time overall.
The first day of the Grand Prix of France was not an easy one, because there was quite a bit of pressure on the NTS RW Racing GP riders. The weather forecast for tomorrow predicts rain and that means that the times of the first two practice sessions can determine who goes straight to Q2 and who has to go through Q1. It was therefore important to perform well on day 1.
In both cases that worked out very well. Bendsneyder ended the first session in eleventh, Odendaal in 24th. In the second practice it was more cloudy and therefore it was less warm than expected, but slightly more humid. In that afternoon session, both of them improved their times. Bendsneyder went out on a used tire with the plan to ride thirteen laps at race speed. The tire wore out sooner than expected, but Bendsneyder decided not to go back to the pits and continue as planned.
Bo Bendsneyder (12 - 1.37.101): “Riding on a worn tire was a bit of a risk, but I am happy that I did it anyway, because it provided a lot of information that we could use for the race. With a new tire I was able to build up a good pace step by step. I knew where I could find it and tied all those ends together in the final lap and squeezed them in one package. You need a bit of luck for that, but if it all works out, a good time will come out. I'm very happy with it.”
Steven Odendaal (23 - 1.37.713): “It was a difficult day, but thanks to the good test that we had in Aragon after the GP of Jerez, I felt a lot better on the bike. We were able to take really good steps and more importantly: the steps we were looking for. In the final round I made a mistake, with a small crash as a result. Nothing serious, but it could have been a better time. We know where we can find the improvements and that will hopefully help to go better tomorrow.”