The start was good, but having to dodge a crashing rider in the first round of the Moto2 race of the Italian GP, Bo Bendsneyder was thrown far back. From the 29th position the Dutchman fought back to 19th place. Steven Odendaal managed to advance from the 28th starting position on the grid to 22nd place at the finish in a particularly difficult race for the South African.
“It was certainly not the race we had in mind,” said NTS RW Racing GP team manager Jarno Janssen immediately afterwards. “We cannot be satisfied with these results, despite a number of mitigating circumstances.”
The start of the Moto2 race was again chaotic. Bendsneyder got away well from twentieth place and won a few positions, but that win was quickly cancelled out when he had to leave the track to avoid the crashing Iker Lecuona. Back on track, from 29th the points were actually out of sight.
Yet the Dutchman did not give up. Step by step he fought his way through the pack. However, catching up took time and in the meantime the gaps became bigger. Halfway through the race, Bendsneyder came in nineteenth, leading the group that also included teammate Odendaal. The gap to number 18 was almost ten seconds by then, and riding alone, Bendsneyder could not take advantage of a slipstream, so that he couldn’t get any closer to the group in front of him.
“Bo’s lap times were good enough to be able to fight for points,” said team manager Janssen. “But from such a backlog, as a result of someone else’s mistake, you will never get back.”
Steven Odendaal also won a few places right from the start. By the eighth lap he had reached twentieth place, but he could not hold it. Falling back to position 23, the South African managed to outwit Philipp Oettl in the final lap to come across as 22nd. Janssen: “We have changed a lot on the motorcycle to make Steven feel better, but we have not succeeded. If the rider does not feel comfortable, the race becomes a difficult story.”
Bo Bendsneyder: “The start was finally good. I think I was in sixteenth or seventeenth, but when I made the second turn I was just on the wrong side and I had to go straight to avoid a crash. I was lucky not to get knocked down. It was difficult to catch up because I was short of speed on the straight. Once I was in front, I was able to increase the pace, but of course I am very dissatisfied with this result.”
Steven Odendaal: “It was a terribly bad weekend and the worst part is that I don’t know what the problem is. I am very sorry for NTS and for the team, because this is not what they deserve. This machine should be in the points and even more.”