At the Mobility Resort Motegi, Fieten Olie Racing GP made a good start to the Japanese Grand Prix. Once again both riders were in Q2 with Zonta van den Goorbergh managing to qualify in 15th place on Saturday afternoon while Barry Baltus finished in 17th.
The race weekend at the Mobility Resort Motegi started well on Friday for Fieten Olie Racing GP riders Barry Baltus and Zonta van den Goorbergh. With the 17th and 21st position on the timesheets respectively, the team ended the first day at the Japanese circuit where it was mainly a matter of learning. It did mean that there was a big job ahead on Saturday morning.
In that third practice on Saturday morning, Baltus posted the twelfth time securing a direct place in Q2, Van den Goorbergh had to go to Q1 as he ended in 19th place. However, the seventeen-year-old Dutchman did set a very impressive lap time in that session, allowing him to join his teammate and the rest of the fastest Moto2 riders in Q2 after all.
In that decisive second qualifying session, things did not quite go according to plan for both riders, resulting in Van den Goorbergh finishing fifteenth and Baltus seventeenth. Still, those positions give the possibility of a good race in which Fieten Olie Racing GP hopes to finish in the points again with both riders.
Zonta van den Goorbergh – P15: “It might not quite show from the position but I felt pretty good today. This morning we couldn't go straight through to Q2 because we were quite unlucky with a lot of traffic and yellow flags. In Q1 I did a very strong lap time so I went into Q2 feeling good. Unfortunately, I soon had to deal with traffic again so had to abort a lap. I left a gap before trying again but then I made a mistake in Turn 1 resulting in a crash.
It took quite a long time to get the bike running again so I only had one lap left. It certainly wasn't the perfect lap but we still finished fifteenth. Considering the lap time in Q1, the speed is definitely there and we could have been a bit further forward but these things happen. Tomorrow we can definitely have a good race."
Barry Baltus – P17: “This wasn’t really the qualifying I was expecting. In the third practice session I was competitive and I had quite a good feeling but it wasn’t the same in the afternoon. It’s quite disappointing that we are this far off. We need to keep working and believe in ourselves, then I’m sure it will come.”
Jarno Jansen – Fieten Olie Racing GP team manager: “Yesterday we were already quite happy with our pace and today we were able to see that it was there again. Zonta rode a fantastic Q1 with a very fast lap time that allowed him to advance to Q2. Unfortunately, that second session got a bit trickier with a small crash but fifteenth place is certainly not bad in the end.
Barry struggled a bit more in Q2 despite a good lap time in third practice allowing him to go straight through to that session. He didn't have the right feeling and then you just have to settle for the utmost. Then seventeenth place is certainly not bad and a good starting position for tomorrow's race. We are happy with how it went today and are looking forward to tomorrow. It will be a long race but we have prospects of a good result."
The 22-lap Moto2 race at the Mobility Resort Motegi will kick off Sunday at 13:15 local time, 06:15 Central European summer time.