The Moto2 race of the Grand Prix of France was one to quickly forget for NTS RW Racing GP. Both riders had to write a DNF (Did Not Finish) behind their name. Bo Bendsneyder entered the pits with a rear tire worn down to the wire. A lap later Steven Odendaal crashed hard and dislocated his knee.
The result was of course a major disappointment for the entire team, and in particular for the riders themselves. “It’s a shame it ends this way, because we’ve seen many positive things this weekend,” said NTS RW Racing GP team manager Jarno Janssen. “In this sport, everything has to fall just right and if that goes against you, you are left empty-handed.”
Among the positive points, Janssen includes the seventh place of Bendsneyder in the warm-up on Sunday morning and his direct qualification for Q2, the fastest time of Odendaal in the wet FP3 and his time in qualifying that could have been seventh if it were not that a few riders were slightly faster in Q1.
Due to the wet circumstances on Saturday, Bendsneyder could not really try the hard rear tire, but he had good results with the soft compound and that tire had held up well for nineteen laps. That is why, and because of the cool temperature, Bendsneyder and his crew took the gamble to start the race on the softer compound.
Odendaal did choose the harder tire. With that he got away well from the start. The South African advanced to seventeenth place, but from that position he crashed in turn 10 of the fourteenth lap. In the crash Odendaal dislocated his knee. He therefore misses at least the Fan Day of NTS RW Racing GP on Tuesday at the TT Circuit in Assen.
Bo Bendsneyder (DNF): “I had done good lap times in the practice sessions with the softer rear tire and that tire was still good even after nineteen laps. We knew that the last five laps of the race could be difficult, but it was worth the gamble. Unfortunately, this tire behaved very differently: after two or three laps it was gone already. In the turns I bounced and slid in all directions and it only got worse. I couldn't ride it, so I came in. Very unfortunate, because it was quite a good weekend. I have learned a lot, including in wet conditions, and we have shown some quite nice things.”