The first day of the Italian GP was not the easiest for NTS RW Racing GP. The pieces of the puzzle did not all fall into place for Bo Bendsneyder and Steven Odendaal. On the spectacular but difficult circuit of Mugello, Bendsneyder finished the day in 21st (1.53.156). Odendaal recorded the 25th time (1.53.668).
Mugello is typically a track where everything has to be right in order to make a good lap time. If you exit one corner just a little bit off the line, you are in the wrong place for the next. For both the Dutchman and the South African, it was difficult to get it all right.
In the first free practice Bendsneyder opened with the sixteenth time and Odendaal became 22nd. Both improved their time in the afternoon session, but that did not lead to better positions.
"These are not the positions we want," NTS RW Racing GP team manager Jarno Janssen noted. “Bo in particular is on the right track, but we are still a bit short. Slipstreaming is very important at Mugello. The individual parts are good, but we have to connect them to achieve a good lap. Hopefully everything will fall into place tomorrow."
Bo Bendsneyder: “The feeling with the bike is very good, but my guys have to do some work to get more top speed out of it. I lose almost 10 km on the straight if I ride alone. That's too much. We have made a good step for FP2 with the setup and I believe that the top 14, to get into Q2, is certainly possible, but then everything must be right. It is also largely up to me to make it right, so we are going to work on that.”
Steven Odendaal: “The first session wasn't bad at all, but in the end we couldn't find the room to improve and I wasn't really that focused on a fast lap on new tires either. We need to fix up a number of things for tomorrow in order to come back stronger."