Tough qualifying for RW-Idrofoglia Racing GP in Portimão

The qualifying day at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve has been a difficult one for RW-Idrofoglia Racing GP. In the second qualifying session, Barry Baltus finished 16th while Zonta van den Goorbergh was unable to advance to Q2 due to traffic. The Dutchman will have to start from 19th place on the grid on Sunday afternoon.

The second Grand Prix of 2024 at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve got off to a tricky start for RW-Idrofoglia Racing GP. After much rain prior to the race weekend, the Portuguese track was very dirty on Friday due to sand and dust on the asphalt. In the two sessions on Friday it was therefore mainly a matter of cleaning the track.

This meant that a big challenge awaited Barry Baltus and Zonta van den Goorbergh on Saturday morning, who had to secure a direct place in Q2 in the second practice session. The Belgian succeeded while the Dutchman fell just short and would have to report later in Q1.

It was clear that Van den Goorbergh had the speed to go into Q2 but due to traffic in his fast laps he eventually finished fifth in the session, meaning he will have to start from P19 on Sunday. Baltus did get to take part in Q2 but in it he did not get beyond 16th position. Regardless, these starting positions also offer opportunities for good results in Sunday afternoon’s race at the Portuguese circuit.

Barry Baltus – P16: “Today was not the day we wanted. We have to start from quite far back because I don’t have a great feeling with the bike. We are working hard and trying to find a better setup but for now we will have to wait and see in the race tomorrow. I fully trust the team and still feel confident that we can have a good race tomorrow.”

Zonta van den Goorbergh – P19: “In terms of setup and feeling with the bike, we definitely made a step forward today. In the morning we managed to improve our lap time by more than a second compared to Friday and in qualifying we made another step. In the end, I could not do my ideal lap time because I encountered traffic several times, it was very frustrating that other riders did not move aside. This results in the nineteenth starting position and of course I can’t really be satisfied with that, anyway the speed is there and in the race we will do our very best to get a good result.”

Jarno Janssen – RW-Idrofoglia Racing GP team manager: “In the morning, both riders had a good pace with Barry able to go straight through to Q2. Zonta had to go to Q1 and unfortunately he couldn’t get to Q2 in the end. The speed was definitely there but we just had a bit of bad luck. We share the track with other riders and then sometimes someone can get in the way. That is obviously very disappointing, especially when you fall short of making it into that Q2 session. As a result, Zonta starts from nineteenth but he has the pace and it will be important that he gets through the first few laps well. He has everything to have a good race tomorrow.

Barry also just failed to squeeze out the ideal lap in qualifying, resulting in sixteenth place on the grid. We were definitely expecting something more with both riders but we have to go from here tomorrow. It’s a challenging track and it will be a long race but I’m confident we can get good results tomorrow.”

The 21-lap Moto2 race at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve will kick off Sunday afternoon at 12:15pm local time, 13:15 Central European time.