As good and hopeful as Friday was at the Circuit de Catalunya, as disappointing was Saturday for Bo Bendsneyder and NTS RW Racing GP. Top 10 times were way out of reach, nor was there a chance to fight for Q2. On the contrary. Bendsneyder starts the GP of Catalunya from 28th place, only two places ahead of his teammate Piotr Biesiekirski.
On Friday it almost seemed a certainty that Bendsneyder could compete for a place in the first four rows, with his eleventh place after two free practices. In the third free practice however, on Saturday morning, he was unable to reach Friday’s times. Only at the end of practice he could reach 1.44.509, but that was good for only twentieth place. At NTS RW Racing GP there was still quite some hope that Bendsneyder could still get into the second qualifying round via Q1, but that hope was lost. With 1.45.114, the Dutchman finished in 14th place in Q1, which means he has to start the Moto2 race from 28th on the grid.
Teammate Piotr Biesiekirski starts from place 30. The young Pole managed to improve his times in both sessions. First to 1.46.195 in FP3 and in Q1 he dipped below 46 for the first time by putting 1.45.679 on the clock.
All races will start one hour later than usual on Sunday, which means that the Moto2 will start at 13.20 CET.
Bo Bendsneyder: “In FP3 we started with new tires front and rear, to set a time immediately. But from the first lap on it felt really bad and it felt like I was riding on ice. I had zero grip. We therefore decided to use the old tires from yesterday and with those I was able to ride 44.5 within three laps. Later it turned out that there was something wrong with the rear tire, and Dunlop has confirmed it. Problem solved, you would think, but in Q1 I immediately again had a very strange feeling, very little grip and vibrations when entering corners. I cannot explain why the feeling was so different from yesterday. I don’t understand myself either.”
Piotr Biesiekirski: “I am very happy with the progress we have made today. I'm starting to understand the bike better and keep improving myself. It has been working very well since the beginning of the weekend. I am very happy with the team, which does not put pressure on me and helps me with everything. I think we are ready for tomorrow. It will be a long race. The last sector of this track is quite physical, with two heavy braking points that you really feel over a race distance. I hope I can stay with a group and maybe join the battle in the first part of the race. If not, I hope to keep them in sight until the end of the race.”