Van den Goorbergh in P15 and Baltus in P16 at Le Mans after frustrating qualifying

Zonta van den Goorbergh and Barry Baltus qualified in 15th and 16th respectively for the French Grand Prix on Saturday. Both riders managed to secure a place in Q2 and showed they were fast, unfortunately yellow flags prevented them from riding their ideal lap time.

RW-Idrofoglia started well at the French Grand Prix at the Bugatti Circuit in Le Mans. The first day ended with Barry Baltus in seventh place and Zonta van den Goorbergh in 15th. On Saturday morning, the second official practice still had to work hard for a direct place in Q2: Baltus managed this by finishing in fourteenth place while Van den Goorbergh was just out of the running in fifteenth.

As a result, Van den Goorbergh had to go to Q1 but the fastest lap time in that session allowed the Dutchman to advance to Q2 after all. In this session, there were many crashes from other riders which resulted in frequent yellow flag waving. As a result, Van den Goorbergh and Baltus were unable to do their fastest lap and finished fifteenth and sixteenth on the timesheet respectively. The lap time Van den Goorbergh had set in Q1 would have been good for fifth on the grid.

Zonta van den Goorbergh – P15: “The speed was definitely there today but we didn’t get the desired result. In the morning I missed out on direct placement for Q2 by just a few thousandths which was very disappointing but later on I managed to make it thanks to a good Q1 session. In Q2 I started well and was on my way to a place on the first two rows of the grid, unfortunately I ran into two yellow flags and didn’t make it. We could have been further forward on the grid and that’s a real shame but it’s part of the game sometimes. Hopefully we can put the bad luck behind us now and we are still not in a bad position so we will do our best tomorrow to make it a great race.”

Barry Baltus – P16: “We started quite well in the morning and we managed to go straight to Q2. In qualifying I made some mistakes and didn’t manage to do one good lap so that is quite disappointing. Our pace for the race is not too bad but it would have been easier if we could start a bit more up front. It will be a long and challenging race but we will need to fight, then we’ll see what is possible.”

Jarno Janssen – RW-Idrofoglia Racing GP team manager: “Like our riders, I think we deserved just a bit more today, we were stronger than the positions we are in now. In the morning, it was of course unfortunate for Zonta that he just couldn’t go straight through to Q2 but in the end he still managed to do so impressively in Q1.

A lot happened in the second qualifying session and of course we don’t ride alone on the track. If you are unlucky enough to get a yellow flag on a fast lap, it gets scrubbed immediately. Fifteenth and sixteenth on the grid don’t make it easy for tomorrow but both riders have the speed. We have to have a bit of luck tomorrow in the first two laps and then hope to move up a bit. I think they both have the pace for a place in the top ten, let’s hope tomorrow luck is on our side and we can get a nice result.”

The 22-lap Moto2 race at the Bugatti Circuit in Le Mans will start at 12:15pm on Sunday afternoon.