This weekend the sixth Grand Prix of 2023 will be held at the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello. Besides regular riders Barry Baltus and Zonta van den Goorbergh, Mattia Pasini is joining Fieten Olie Racing GP as a third rider with a wildcard appearance in his home race.
After the French Grand Prix in Le Mans, where Barry Baltus got his best Moto2 result so far with a seventh place, there was a three-week break in the MotoGP calendar. Fieten Olie Racing GP was not sitting still, however, as testing was already underway again on Tuesday at the TT Circuit Assen. The team has also been busy with all kinds of (media) duties in preparation for the Dutch Grand Prix at the end of this month.
This weekend, the Italian Grand Prix is to be held at the 5.25-kilometre Mugello. For many it is one of the favourite circuits on the calendar, having been on the Grand Prix calendar since 1976 at the beautiful Tuscan venue. The weather forecast is quite changeable for the weekend so it will be crucial for Fieten Olie Racing GP to secure direct places in Q2 and therefore have a good starting position for the race on Sunday.
Barry Baltus: “It has been quite a while since I last rode the Moto2 bike, I am looking forward to get back to it. Mugello is a track that I like and last year I had my best qualifying result there at that point. Mattia will join the team this weekend and I think he can bring something extra, it will be nice to ride together. I am feeling confident and I look forward to start working again with the team.”
Zonta van den Goorbergh: “We had three weekends where there was no racing but during that period I trained very hard. I was able to train a few days on the bike but for the most part it was physical training in the gym. After all, we are facing three tough weeks with Mugello, Sachsenring and Assen. The latter is obviously very special but first the focus is on Mugello to have a good weekend there. It is a difficult and tough circuit and it will definitely not be easy but we will do our best. Hopefully we can get a good result."
Mattia Pasini: “I am very happy and honoured to be part of the GP in Mugello again. I am proud to do it with the Fieten Olie Racing GP team because last year in Valencia I saw that it was a great team with good staff, I think it is the right environment for me. I am grateful to Jarno for giving me this possibility and hopefully we can have a great weekend and enjoy every single lap until the chequered flag on Sunday. My objective is to enjoy working with the team, be patient and achieve a good result.”
Jarno Janssen – Fieten Olie Racing GP team manager: “After three weekends without racing, we will start again next weekend at Mugello. It will be a busy few weeks because after Mugello we also have the race weekends at Sachsenring and Assen, of course. It's a tough schedule, especially as the weekend in Assen is the most important of the year for us.
We certainly haven't been sitting still in recent weeks, we have been working hard behind the scenes. We've done a lot of media stuff and we also did a day of testing in Assen after Le Mans. Unfortunately, that day didn’t go as planned due to unfavourable weather conditions but we can't do anything about that.
This weekend we will go to Mugello in the Tuscan hills again. It is a beautiful circuit where the average speed is high. However, it is certainly not an easy circuit so I am curious to see how we will come out of it. A nice touch is that we have Mattia at the start as third rider this weekend. He brings a lot of experience and I think that's something both Barry and Zonta can learn from. Of course it would be great if we can get a nice result here with three riders and that our young guys can learn from the veteran. We are going there in good spirits and looking forward to a great weekend."
After two practice sessions on Friday and a practice session on Saturday morning, qualifying starts at 13:45 on Saturday afternoon. The 19-lap race at the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello will start at 12:15 on Sunday afternoon.