Excellent start Bendsneyder in GP Qatar

The signs were already good at the three-day test last week at the Losail International Circuit. On the first day of the Grand Prix of Qatar, Bo Bendsneyder and Jesko Raffin made the promise. In the first free practice, the Dutch rider of NTS RW Racing GP even managed to set the third fastest time. In the end, he finished the day in twelfth: well within the margins for the second qualifying round. His Swiss teammate Jesko Raffin ended the day in twentieth. The result of the first free practice, with Bendsneyder in the top 3, was nothing short of sensational. NTS RW Racing GP team manager Jarno Janssen and Bendsneyder himself were the first to temper the joy. “In the second free practice, the conditions are better, the temperature is lower and everyone will be faster. To still be in the vicinity of the top 10, it will be quite a task”, Bendsneyder knew. He was right. The fastest lap (Marcel Schrotter) in FP1 was 1.59.591, in FP2 the fastest lap (Lorenzo Baldassarri) was 1.58.635. The time of Bendsneyder in FP1 (1.59.920) was not even sufficient for a top 20 in FP2. With 1.59.182 in FP2 the Dutchman, who celebrated his 20th birthday last Monday, secured a twelfth place. This year Moto2 (and Moto3 as well) has adopted the qualifying format of the premier class. Fourteen riders will be going directly into Q2, based on their combined free practice times after FP3 on Saturday. The others will have to go out for a 15-minute Q1 session. The four fastest riders from Q1 will be promoted to Q2, also a 15-minute session, to decide the order of the first six rows of the starting grid. With temperatures expected to be higher in FP3 on Saturday afternoon it was therefore important to have a good position after FP2. “Directly to Q2 was the goal today”, says team manager Janssen. “We succeeded and I am more than satisfied. After the sensation of FP1, a twelfth place might seem disappointing, but this is what we counted on. A difference of 0.547 for Bo is just good. Jesko also did well on only his third day on a machine that was new to him.”

Bo Bendsneyder: “I am very satisfied. That third place in FP1 was nice, but we knew immediately that everyone would be faster in the evening. Despite that, I was always able to stay close to the top 10, which is positive and which was our goal. I was able to ride good and constant lap times, and I’m probably most satisfied with that. The fact that I have set my fastest time on my own, immediately after I could just slip between the crashed Tom Lüthi and his bike without hitting anything, only makes it sweeter.”

Results FP2:

Pos Rider Team Fastest lap
1 Lorenzo BALDASSARRI Flexbox HP 40 1’58.635
2 Marcel SCHROTTER Dynavolt Intact GP 1’58.869
3 Remy GARDNER ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team 1’58.899
4 Sam LOWES Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 1’58.954
5 Alex MARQUEZ EG 0,0 Marc VDS 1’58.964
6 Jorge NAVARRO +Ego Speed Up 1’59.036
7 Andrea LOCATELLI Italtrans Racing Team 1’59.054
8 Brad BINDER Red Bull KTM Ajo 1’59.059
9 Xavi VIERGE EG 0,0 Marc VDS 1’59.094
10 Enea BASTIANINI Italtrans Racing Team 1’59.111
11 Augusto FERNANDEZ Flexbox HP 40 1’59.143
12 Bo BENDSNEYDER NTS RW Racing GP 1’59.182
13 Thomas LUTHI Dynavolt Intact GP 1’59.211
14 Jorge MARTIN Red Bull KTM Ajo 1’59.235
15 Tetsuta NAGASHIMA ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team 1’59.375
16 Luca MARINI SKY Racing Team VR46 1’59.657
17 Simone CORSI Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2 1’59.697
18 Iker LECUONA American Racing KTM 1’59.708
19 Nicolo BULEGA SKY Racing Team VR46 1’59.725
20 Jesko RAFFIN NTS RW Racing GP 1’59.790
21 Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO +Ego Speed Up 1’59.831
22 Dominique AEGERTER MV Agusta Idealavoro Forward 1’59.904
23 Khairul Idham PAWI Petronas Sprinta Racing 2’00.015
24 Joe ROBERTS American Racing KTM 2’00.258
25 Somkiat CHANTRA IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia 2’00.529
26 Lukas TULOVIC Kiefer Racing 2’00.720
27 Marco BEZZECCHI Red Bull KTM Tech 3 2’00.852
28 Stefano MANZI MV Agusta Idealavoro Forward 2’00.969
29 Philipp OETTL Red Bull KTM Tech 3 2’01.224
30 Jake DIXON Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team 2’01.526
31 Dimas EKKY PRATAMA IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia 2’02.235
32 Xavi CARDELUS Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team 2’05.415

Source: motogp.com, rwracinggp.com

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