Tough qualifying for Fieten Olie Racing GP at Mugello

It was a difficult day for Fieten Olie Racing GP on Saturday at the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello. Despite good race pace from all three riders, Mattia Pasini qualified eighteenth for his home race, Barry Baltus fell just short of a place in Q2 which meant he finished nineteenth and Zonta van den Goorbergh will have to start from 22nd on Sunday afternoon.

As on Friday, conditions in the morning session on Saturday morning were better than those in the afternoon. In the all-important third free practice session all three riders did not manage to improve their lap times enough for a direct place in Q2, however Mattia Pasini had already secured a place thanks to his lap time on Friday morning.

This meant Baltus and Van den Goorbergh had to go into Q1. The Belgian rider was only a tenth short of a place in Q2 and finished fifteenth, giving him the nineteenth starting spot. Van den Goorbergh was also not far from a place in Q2 and will have to start Sunday afternoon’s race from 22nd position.

Pasini faced a tyre problem in Q2 that prevented him from getting the most out of himself and the machine. As a result, the 37-year-old Italian will start his home Grand Prix from 18th position on Sunday afternoon.

Mattia Pasini – P18: “I am a bit disappointed about the qualifying today. This morning the feeling with the bike was incredible, I hoped to be able to ride in the 1’50s at Mugello, that was the target. When I started Q2 with a used tyre I felt very good already but when we mounted a new tyre I didn’t have a good feeling at all. Anyway, that is part of racing and I’m looking forward to tomorrow. So far the weekend has been very good with a strong pace and I think we can do a great job tomorrow.”

Barry Baltus – P19: “It wasn’t a great day, since the first practice on Friday morning we struggled. The third practice session was a bit better but we didn’t manage to get through to Q2. Our pace is not so bad but we didn’t get in Q2 so that is not where we need to be. Tomorrow is a new day and we will try for sure, but so far it has been a hard weekend for us.”

Zonta van den Goorbergh – P22: “I’m pretty happy with the pace I showed in qualifying, just the position is far from ideal. I was eighth in Q1 but I was very close to a place in Q2, it’s a shame it didn’t work out. During the entire qualifying session I was riding by myself, when everyone was waiting I just kept going. At the end I was still improving and I was two tenths under my own fastest time, but then I made a mistake and couldn’t finish. I did several laps within one and a half tenths, which is nice in itself, but in qualifying you have to squeeze out one fast lap. All weekend I didn’t feel I had that perfect lap so we have to work on that. Now we have to see how the race will go, we start from 22nd place and if the opening phase goes well we can definitely get a good result.”

Jarno Janssen – Fieten Olie Racing GP team manager: “”It was quite a tough day today, both for Barry and for Zonta. All weekend we were very close to a place in Q2 and it looked like we could just manage that with Barry, but it just went wrong in the end. Zonta posted very good lap times today and he’s getting closer and closer, we have to remember that a lot is being asked of him and that he has pretty much caught up with the group of riders fighting for the points. We are just going for that as well and certainly in the next few weeks it will be crucial.

Mattia went straight through to Q2 and we also expected him to get a good result there but with his strategy he gambled on the last part of qualifying, which didn’t pay off. Unfortunately it did not work out well and he did not get the right feeling with the tyres, therefore he did not get into his rhythm and it resulted in an eighteenth place on the grid. With a nineteenth place for Barry and a 22nd place for Zonta, our riders are very close to each other on the grid. It will certainly not be easy in the race but anything can happen at Mugello. We will do our best and then see where it ends up.”

The 19-lap Moto2 race at the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello will start at 12:15 on Sunday afternoon.