Van den Goorbergh qualifies on front row at Silverstone, Baltus starts from P8

Zonta van den Goorbergh qualified third in the Moto2 class at Silverstone on Saturday afternoon. The Dutchman managed to get from Q1 through to Q2 where he set the third fastest lap time, putting himself and the Fieten Olie Racing GP team on the front row of the grid in the Moto2 class for the first time. Barry Baltus also had a good qualifying session and finished eighth.

The British Grand Prix got off to a difficult start for Fieten Olie Racing GP on Friday. In the two practice sessions Barry Baltus and Zonta van den Goorbergh ended in seventeenth and 23rd place respectively, given the weather conditions on Saturday morning this meant they would both be in Q1.

In rainy conditions, however, Baltus and Van den Goorbergh went full steam ahead and in the first qualifying session they recorded the second and third lap times, securing a place in Q2. Just like in Q1, Baltus and Van den Goorbergh also worked together in the second qualifying session and it paid off. Unfortunately, the Belgian crashed out early in the session, which meant he was not able to improve his lap time further. This put him in eighth place, even though that was a rock-solid result.

Van den Goorbergh was fighting for pole position and the seventeen-year-old Dutchman managed to keep the session exciting until the end. In the end, he recorded the third lap time and thus qualified on the front row. It will be the first time that Van den Goorbergh and Fieten Olie Racing GP are starting a Moto2 race from the front row.

Zonta van den Goorbergh – P3: “Obviously I’m happy with today’s qualifying, I didn’t expect to be able to start from P3. This morning the feeling in the very wet conditions was not great, we were fast in the rain at the Sachsenring but the conditions were not the same this time. In Q1 I started pushing immediately and the feeling improved right away, that was due to some setup changes but also due to my own way of riding. We were able to advance to Q2 and in that session I ended up being third fastest, of course it’s great to be in this position. For now we can enjoy it but we have to stay realistic, if it’s dry tomorrow it’s going to be difficult for us. It’s a nice boost for the team and hopefully we can learn a lot from the fast guys tomorrow.”

Barry Baltus – P8: “Today the circumstances were completely different compared to yesterday with a lot of rain. This morning we prepared a strategy so we could have a new tyre for qualifying, but during qualifying the track was drying. In Q1 I was struggling but I found something on the last lap, therefore I ended in second place and went through to Q2. In Q2 I only did one lap before I crashed and it was not a bad lap, so we cannot be unhappy to be in eighth place. Congratulations to the team for achieving the first row today, we will see what is possible in the race tomorrow.”

Jarno Janssen – Fieten Olie Racing GP team manager: “For both riders this is a great result so the joy was great. We started with both riders very strong in Q1, thanks to good teamwork they brought each other to higher levels in that session. That level was very high because in Q2 they both immediately fought for the first row on the grid. At that point something can go wrong and in this case that happened to Barry, anyway the eighth position is a top performance.

For Zonta the session worked out very well and he was able to keep the rhythm from Q1 to Q2. It was so good that he might have been able to get a first pole position, but of course the front row for tomorrow is great. This is a great boost for the team and everyone who supports us in this project. Tomorrow will be a different race because it looks like it will be dry, then it will be a difficult race over seventeen laps. To start from third and eighth place is a good starting point for the race so I’m looking forward to seeing how it goes tomorrow.”

The seventeen-lap Moto2 race will start Sunday afternoon at 15:30 local time, 16:30 Central European time. Due to a different time schedule, this is will be the final race of the day.