In a hectic weekend so far for Fieten Olie Racing GP, Barry Baltus qualified in 16th place for the Moto2 race at the TT Circuit Assen and Zonta van den Goorbergh ended qualifying in 23rd position. Despite some setbacks, the Dutch team is ready to battle it out on home soil on Sunday.
The most important race weekend of the year for Fieten Olie Racing GP started well with an eighth lap time for Barry Baltus and a 19th lap time for Zonta van den Goorbergh in the first practice session on Friday morning. In the afternoon, Baltus maintained that pace and ended the first day with a strong tenth place. Things went differently for Zonta and he crashed heavily early in the second practice session, fortunately not injuring himself but damaging his machine badly.
On Saturday, the Dutch Grand Prix team managed to recover. After the third practice session both riders were in Q1, but with a fastest lap time in that session Baltus qualified for Q2 in which he ended up in sixteenth place. Van den Goorbergh showed in the Q1 session that he had not lost his speed but eventually finished in 23rd place. Both riders will do their very best to shine in front of the packed grandstands at the TT Circuit Assen on Sunday.
Barry Baltus – P16: “It was not an easy day today. Yesterday we finished in tenth place but this morning we had to go to Q1. Then we managed to go to Q1 with a good lap time but the feeling was not the same in Q2, I wasn’t able to do the same lap time that I did earlier. We are sixteenth on the grid but last weekend we were in last place after the first corner and we came back to P12, so we know we can pass. However, this is a difficult circuit to pass so it will be a tough race tomorrow. We will give it our best shot anyway and then see where we end up.”
Zonta van den Goorbergh – P23: “After what all happened yesterday, we already knew that today would be a tough day. In the third practice session it went reasonably well, although I was a bit further back than what I hoped for. In qualifying in the afternoon, I set my fastest lap time of the weekend and I felt there was still something left to improve, unfortunately there was a crash in the first corner that caused yellow flags. We won't know what would have been possible but we are now looking towards tomorrow. We are not in a great position but we are just going to do our best. I still have some pain here and there but I can ride without problems."
Jarno Janssen – Fieten Olie Racing GP team manager: “In the end it was quite a good day again today. With a Saturday like this, of course there is always a bit of tension because you are working towards Q2. Unfortunately that didn't work out in the third practice for both riders and then you are faced with a difficult task.
In Barry's case, it went extremely well with the fastest lap time in Q1, which was nice to see. After that he just couldn't do the lap times he had done before, which resulted in a sixteenth place. That is a starting position with which a lot is still possible.
Zonta needed some time to get back up to speed after his crash yesterday but he did very well. In qualifying he was a bit unlucky with a yellow flag but such things are part of the game. His starting spot is not what he hoped for but he will have to fight from there to get the best possible result. Last year at Assen he rode his best race and let's hope the same is true this time."
The Moto2 race over 22 laps at the TT Circuit Assen will start at 12:15pm on Sunday afternoon.