Van den Goorbergh qualifies in thirteenth place at Red Bull Ring, Baltus declared unfit

Zonta van den Goorbergh qualified 13th in the Moto2 class for the Austrian Grand Prix on Saturday afternoon. The Dutchman secured direct entry into Q2 in the morning and then achieved his best qualifying result in dry conditions. Barry Baltus will be out of action at the Red Bull Ring this weekend due to a foot injury he suffered last week.

After a good start to the weekend for Baltus, finishing Friday with the fifteenth fastest time, the 19-year-old Belgian was declared unfit by the Medical Director on Saturday morning. While training on a supermotard, Baltus crashed and broke three toes in the process. Despite that he was able to keep up with the pace in the Moto2 class just fine on Friday. Anyway, this meant that Baltus would not be in action on Saturday and Sunday at the Red Bull Ring but will be back in Barcelona in two weeks’ time.

Van den Goorbergh also had a good start to the weekend on Friday and continued this upward trend on Saturday morning. The seventeen-year-old Dutchman finished eleventh on the combined timesheet after three practice sessions and was therefore allowed to go straight to Q2. In that qualifying session, he had to abort a lap due to a yellow flag but eventually achieved his best qualifying result in the Moto2 class under dry conditions with a thirteenth time.

Zonta van den Goorbergh – P13: “I’m happy with how the day went today. Thanks to a tenth time in the third practice this morning we were 11th on combined times, which meant we were going straight to Q2. That’s the first time I’ve managed that in an entire weekend with dry conditions, I’m definitely happy with that. Still, Q2 didn’t quite go as I would have liked. I had some bad luck with the yellow flags in the beginning. In the end I’m still happy with a thirteenth time, our pace has been good all weekend. I’m looking forward to tomorrow and I’m looking forward to see what we can do.”

Barry Baltus: “Unfortunately I was not allowed to ride at the Red Bull Ring anymore this weekend due to a decision from the Medical Director regarding a foot injury after a crash last week. I had good pace and I was riding without major issues yesterday, but we have no choice but to accept it: it’s part of the game. We’re disappointed because we were fast and on a good run after our P6 at Silverstone. Now there’s just one goal: to come back stronger at the next Grand Prix in Catalunya. I’m already 110% motivated!”

Jarno Janssen – Fieten Olie Racing GP team manager: “For us today was a bit of a day of two faces. On one hand, we are obviously very pleased with Zonta’s fantastic result in qualifying, going straight through to Q2 and achieving a thirteenth time is a very good performance. He has been in a good position all weekend as we would like to see, we hope this gives a lot of confidence for tomorrow’s race.

On the other hand, we unfortunately had to withdraw Barry. The injury turned out to be more serious than we first though. Unfortunately this is part of it and we ask our guys to be in top form, that includes training on the bike. An accident during training can happen and if it results in an injury it is very unfortunate, but it is part of the sport. For Barry it is extra painful because he felt he could have been on the grid tomorrow. The important thing now is that he is fully fit again in Barcelona. It may be a good learning experience for us and the fact that Barry has to watch the race tomorrow from the sidelines may be a very good motivation for next time.”

The 23-lap Moto2 race at the Red Bull Ring will start at 12:15 p.m. Sunday afternoon.