For the past two days, the Fieten Olie Racing GP team was present at the Circuito de Jerez - Ángel Nieto to ride its first metres of 2023. While the riders kept fit over the winter on various production bikes, this was the opportunity to get back on their Moto2 Grand Prix machine.
In 2023, the team will have the latest equipment from Kalex, giving Barry Baltus and Zonta van den Goorbergh the opportunity to put it through its paces for the first time during this two-day private test. With all other Moto2 teams also present during this test, it was a realistic gauge ahead of the new season.
With a 1'42.190 as fastest lap time, Barry Baltus managed to end this two-day test with a very respectable ninth place. The Belgian driver has fully recovered from his ankle injury suffered at the end of 2022 and immediately showed again that he has the speed in him.
Zonta van den Goorbergh was also able to get back fully fit on the Moto2 machine after suffering an injury at the end of 2022 and finished the test twentieth with a 1'42.902 as fastest lap time. The Dutchman experienced some start-up problems but managed to increase his pace considerably at the end of the second day.
Barry Baltus – P9: “The second day here in Jerez was a good day. We managed to improve quite substantially and I enjoyed it a lot. We did another fifty laps and I enjoyed riding, until midday I was in P2. We started the season well and finished this test in the top ten, which is nice. We did a good job and I was riding alone, which meant working on myself and improving some details which I think will make the difference this year. I am happy and now we head to Portimão where we need to continue on this level.”
Zonta van den Goorbergh – P20: “Today was anything but an easy day. I lost my way a bit, but luckily we had a couple of good runs at the end of the day, so we were able to turn that around a bit. With that we got the feeling back somewhat and we can go to Portimão with a positive mindset, a circuit that suits me a little better than Jerez. We will see how the test there will go, after that we immediately have the first race weekend so all eyes are on that."
Jarno Janssen – Fieten Olie Racing GP team manager: “We have started the new season and the first two test days are behind us. I think we can be very satisfied with what we have done the last few days. We haven't had too many problems, mostly the routine things that come with starting again after a long time. Otherwise, it actually went very well and I think we are going to Portimão with a good feeling.
With Barry we finished in the top ten which is of course in line with expectations while Zonta had a slightly more difficult day today. Still, he managed to recover well this afternoon and find his rhythm again, that's just part of beginning again. Now we go to Portimão to test for three more days before we start the new season."
The Fieten Olie Racing GP team will now travel to Portimão to test at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve from 17 to 19 March. That will be the only official IRTA test prior to the season that starts a week later from 24 to 26 March at the same Portuguese circuit.