Fieten Olie Racing GP performed strongly in qualifying at the Buddh International Circuit in India on Saturday. In rainy conditions, both riders managed to secure a place in Q2 with Zonta van den Goorbergh qualifying in fourth place and Barry Baltus claiming the thirteenth starting position.
The first two days of the Indian Grand Prix went well for Fieten Olie Racing GP. The action started on Friday at a very hot Buddh International Circuit where the high humidity in particular made for extreme conditions. As a result, Sunday's race has been shortened from 19 to 18 laps. Zonta van den Goorbergh finished Friday in 19th place while Barry Baltus finished in 21st.
Saturday morning was again very hot on the Indian circuit but Van den Goorbergh was in good shape. He finished 14th in the third practice session and 15th on the combined timesheet with the 17-year-old rider just 0.002 seconds short of a direct place in Q2. Baltus had a much harder time in this session and would also have to go to Q1.
Prior to qualifying, however, it started raining very hard resulting in a long delay. Finally, the session could be started and on a wet track, Van den Goorbergh set the fastest time in Q1, followed by Baltus in third place allowing them both to advance to Q2. In this second qualifying session, Van den Goorbergh managed to push towards an impressive fourth time, allowing him to start from the second row on Sunday afternoon. Baltus could not string together a perfect lap but with the thirteenth place he has a good starting position for Sunday's race.
Zonta van den Goorbergh – P4: “We had a good day today. It was unfortunate that in the third practice session we couldn't go straight through to Q2, I ended up finishing fifteenth. This meant I had to go to Q1 and half an hour before the session it started to rain heavily. On the one hand, I was disappointed because I was also fast in dry conditions, but on the other hand this gave us opportunities. In Q1 I was fastest and in Q2 I eventually finished fourth. My lap was not great but I couldn’t do a lot more. At Silverstone we were also in front but then I rode a very bad race, then we were not fast on Friday either. Now our pace in dry conditions is a lot better so I'm looking forward to tomorrow."
Barry Baltus – P13: “This was not the day I expected and I am not very happy with how things went. We were struggling in the third practice session, even though we made a step it was not enough. In the first two laps of Q1 I was fast but then I started sliding a lot and couldn’t improve anymore. We were able to go to Q2 and ended in 13th place but I think we could have done a bit more. Anyway, now we focus on tomorrow and I will do my very best in the race which will be a very tough one.”
Jarno Janssen – Fieten Olie Racing GP team manager: “We had another great day here in India. We showed that we are in good shape again, even in the wet conditions. In the morning we narrowly missed out on a direct place in Q2, which also had a bit to do with the yellow flags being waved. Barry still has quite a hard time on this track and he can't really get into a rhythm, although it went a lot better in the afternoon in the rain. We know we can perform well in these conditions and that's what happened. With excellent performances from both riders we went through to Q2 in which Zonta set a great fourth time and Barry also secured a very nice thirteenth starting spot. Now we look forward to tomorrow and we are prepared for what is to come. It won't be easy in dry conditions but this gives the riders and the team a good feeling. On to tomorrow!"
The 18-lap Moto2 race at the Buddh International Circuit in India will start on Sunday at 13:45 local time, 10:15 Central European summer time.