Not crashing and staying alert were the main tasks for Bo Bendsneyder and Steven Odendaal at the start of the Moto2 race in Austria. After all: to be able to grab points, making it to the finish is a prerequisite. Both riders of NTS RW Racing GP adhered to that assignment, which earned Bo Bendsneyder a point.
After Saturday’s qualification, Bendsneyder already expressed the confidence that, despite a start from 23rd, he could fight for the points. The Dutchman kept that promise in the race at the Red Bull Ring, where he finished 15th at 18 seconds from race winner Brad Binder. Stefano Manzi was the toughest opponent, but once Bendsneyder had passed the Italian, he was no longer able to deliver a fight and the Dutchman could bring his bike to the finish unchallenged.
Odendaal also seemed on its way to the battle for points, but the South African lost the lead of a group with Dominique Aegerter, Jake Dixon and Jonas Folger due to a small mistake. He crossed the line in twentieth.
NTS RW Racing GP team manager Jarno Janssen was happy with the point that Bendsneyder brought in. “We needed that,” he said. “It was not an easy race and we have had some luck here and there with crashes in the front, but a crash from someone else might just as well cause a major problem, so that doesn’t take away a single bit from Bo’s performance. You have to stay on it and that was certainly not obvious today.”
NTS RW Racing GP will stay another day in Austria, where there will be a test on Monday. Simone Corsi will also take part in that to try the NTS. “For the development and improvement of the NTS, it is important to also get input from others,” says Janssen. “We are curious about the information that an experienced rider like Corsi can give us.”
Bo Bendsneyder (15th at 18,684): “The first lap was not perfect, but fortunately not nearly as bad as in the previous races. It was clear that it was not difficult to lose the front, but I was able to keep a reasonably constant pace and overtake a handful of riders. Finishing was the goal and I am happy with this point, but we want more. To achieve that, we must ensure that we are in better shape. The main goal of tomorrow’s test, besides trying a few things, is to create a better feeling.”
Steven Odendaal (20th at 29,993): “I had a very good start, from 28 to 21, which put me in a good position. It was a nice group to race in and it was a shame that I lost the lead. When they caught up with me, I was pushed wide and I hit the wrong gear, so I lost the connection. Despite that, I still look back on the race with a positive feeling. The bike felt good, a lot better than in previous races.”