Van den Goorbergh qualifies 14th in sunny and frantic Assen, Baltus 23rd

Zonta van den Goorbergh qualified in 14th place for his and the team’s home Grand Prix at the TT Circuit Assen on Saturday afternoon. The Dutchman had to get through Q1 to reach Q2 he and finished in 14th despite the second session not going according to plan. Barry Baltus qualified in 23rd position, both RW-Idrofoglia Racing GP riders sporting their spectacular special livery presented last Thursday evening.

After a solid first day at the TT Circuit Assen for RW-Idrofoglia Racing GP, Saturday was all about qualifying. Zonta van den Goorbergh and Barry Baltus left the pit box on Saturday morning in their special livery, based on that of Wil Hartog and Barry Sheene respectively, which meant all eyes were on the two riders from the Dutch team.

Both riders failed to qualify directly for Q2, forcing them to take part in Q1. In that session Baltus set the ninth fastest lap time, qualifying in 23rd place. Van den Goorbergh clocked the second fastest lap time in Q1 which allowed him to proceed to Q2, in which he could not improve his lap time any further. In the end he qualified in 14th place for the most special race of the year: the Dutch Grand Prix at the TT Circuit Assen.

Zonta van den Goorbergh – P14: “As a rider of course I always want more but prior to the weekend we had set ourselves two goals: achieve Q2 and score points. We achieved the first one, even though I had to get through Q1 because things didn’t quite work out this morning. Of my five fast laps, three were yellow-flagged and I was held up in the other two. In Q1, I had to do it myself and eventually managed to advance to Q2 with the second fastest time. That was definitely good but unfortunately I then couldn’t get everything out in Q2. I’m not entirely happy with how that session went but that’s how it is. I’m going to do everything I can to achieve our second target tomorrow. I’m quite happy with how things have gone so far.”

Barry Baltus – P23: “In the morning I had quite a good feeling and I managed to improve my lap time significantly. In the afternoon I didn’t have the same feeling with the bike so the lap time didn’t come. That means we are a bit far back on the grid but we’ll remain positive. The race is tomorrow and I still think we can get a good result.”

Jarno Janssen – RW-Idrofoglia Racing GP team manager: “It was another very nice day in Assen today. The weather conditions were perfect so I think everyone was able to enjoy that. This morning it was difficult in the second practice so we were in Q1 with both riders. That is not where you want to be but Zonta managed to fight his way out in the end. Unfortunately, he just couldn’t make that step into the top ten in Q2, even though he was only 0.033 seconds away from 11th place. It will be a tough race tomorrow and I think he can show something nice.

Barry also did well today but it didn’t quite come together in qualifying. I am extremely proud of what the riders and the team have done and to see our bikes in these beautiful liveries at the TT Circuit Assen is great. On our VIP plaza it was also enjoyable with the many guests so once again I can speak of a successful day.”

The 22-lap Moto2 race at the TT Circuit Assen will start at 12:15 on Sunday afternoon.