Fieten Olie Racing GP fired for up for strong results at season finale in Valencia

This weekend the 20th Grand Prix of the season will be held at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia. As usual, the circuit on the east coast of Spain is the last on the calendar where Barry Baltus and Zonta van den Goorbergh hope to come back strong after a disappointing result in Qatar.

The 4.01-kilometre Circuit Ricardo Tormo is a different circuit to any other on the Grand Prix calendar. With nine left turns and five right turns, the left side of the tyres is used much more but, on the other hand, it is necessary to stay alert and not crash because of a cold right side of the tyre. The circuit is like a ‘stadium’ with almost all sections of the track visible from the grandstands.

Last year Barry Baltus was competing in Valencia due to his injury sustained in the round before. Zonta van den Goorbergh was there at the time but far from fit due to an injury he was struggling with at the time. After the Belgian and the Dutchman qualified directly for Q2 in Qatar and showed they had good pace, it did not come out in the race. Therefore the riders and the team are highly motivated to finish the 2023 season in a good way this weekend at Valencia.”

Barry Baltus: “I am very motivated for this weekend in Valencia. I didn’t ride here last year because of injury but it is a track that I like a lot. I cannot wait to back on track. Last weekend wasn’t bad but it also wasn’t great either as in the end we didn’t manage to score points in the race. A lot of people will come to support us this weekend and I feel confident that I can perform well. Let’s have a strong final race of the year together.”

Zonta van den Goorbergh: “The season is almost over, we only have one race left with which I hope to finish the year in a nice way. In Qatar we had a pretty good weekend in itself, only the race didn’t go the way we wanted. At least we had the speed and we will continue on that line now. The intention now is to continue that line into Sunday. After the last race weekend of the year, we have another important test on Monday with the Pirelli tyres for next season. We will do our utmost to make it a good weekend.”

Jarno Janssen – Fieten Olie Racing GP team manager: “We are already ahead the final race of the season, it is almost unbelievable how quick everything has gone by since the start in Portugal. As always, Valencia is the final race of the season and this year it is quite late at the end of November. That could cause problems in terms of weather conditions but the forecast says it will be sunny and around 19°C so that will be fine. I think after Qatar our riders will be keen to finish the season in a good way. The race there was a bit of a disappointment, as we felt we could have scored points with both riders. That didn’t work out in the end so I think they are fired up to do so at Valencia.

After the Grand Prix, the new season starts immediately on Monday with a one-day test on the new Pirelli tyres. Pirelli will be the new tyre supplier in the Moto2 class so that is going to be an important test to gather information to use in our preparation for next season during the winter.

Looking back on the season, we have had highlights and setbacks but I think in the end we can be quite happy with the progress we have made. Zonta has made great strides and is at a level where he can be competitive enough to finish in the points every race. The same goes for Barry but unfortunately it hasn’t happened in every race. These are things we have to work very hard on together over the winter. We want to make a big step next year and become a regular in the top ten.”

At the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, the usual European timetable is followed. That means the final race weekend of 2023 starts with two practice sessions on Friday and one practice session on Saturday morning, followed by qualifying Saturday afternoon at 13:45. However, the 22-lap race on Sunday afternoon will start at 13:15, one hour later than usual.