Bendsneyder 14th in strange qualifying

Mixed conditions again played a major role today, with a wet but drying track at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia. In Q1 Bo Bendsneyder ended fourth on wet tires, but in Q2 the Dutchman went out on slicks, bringing him to 14th spot for tomorrow’s Moto2 grid. Piotr Biesiekirski managed to finish FP3 in third, but in Q1 he couldn’t repeat that superb result. The Pole will start the GP of Europe from 30th on the grid. A damp but drying track under heavy clouds was the scenery for FP3. With a forecast for a dry afternoon many of the riders decided not to take any risks and stay in for most of the session. Bo Bendsneyder went out for only four laps. Piotr Biesiekirski waited for about half an hour, but did go out in the latter stage of the session, with slicks, posting a remarkable third fastest time with 1.47.123. Had he managed to repeat that laptime in Q1, Biesiekirski would have easily qualified for Q2, but his 1.50.286 was not enough. The circumstances had changed again for Q1, after another downpour, just at the end of Moto3 qualifying, had ended any chance of a dry circuit on Saturday. On a wet but slowly drying track Bo Bendsneyder went from first to eight and back again in Q1, until he finally managed to set a lap time of 1.46.590, promoting him to Q2 in fourth position. In the second qualifying round it was more of the same, but this time on slick tires. Bendsneyder was in sixth for a while, but despite being 3 seconds faster (1.42.662), good enough for tenth at first, he finished in 14th in the end. The difference to the top was remarkably big with +3.726. The first six riders were within half a second, but number 7 was already over a second from pole sitter Xavi Vierge.

Bo Bendsneyder: “It was a strange qualifying session indeed. We had to come from far behind, but managed to finish in fourth in Q1. It was still a bit too wet in Q1 for slick tires, but at the start of Q2 it was dry enough. Nevertheless there still were a lot of damp patches and I didn’t feel very confident. Finishing in 14th is satisfying enough considering the circumstances. We have to wait and see what happens tomorrow. The forecast is that it will be dry, but that’s what they said for today as well… In case of dry, warmup will be very important, as we have little experience of a fully dry track.”

Q1 and Q2 combined:

Pos Rider Team Fastest lap
1 Xavi VIERGE Petronas Sprinta Racing 1’38.936
2 Joe ROBERTS Tennor American Racing 1’39.117
3 Sam LOWES EG 0,0 Marc VDS 1’39.119
4 Remy GARDNER Onexox TKKR SAG Team 1’39.375
5 Marco BEZZECCHI SKY Racing Team VR46 1’39.408
6 Jorge MARTIN Red Bull KTM Ajo 1’39.456
7 Luca MARINI SKY Racing Team VR46 1’40.264
8 Lorenzo BALDASSARRI Flexbox HP 40 1’40.610
9 Hector GARZO Flexbox HP 40 1’40.968
10 Nicolò BULEGA Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 1’41.481
11 Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO HDR Heidrun Speed Up 1’42.586
12 Andi Farid IZDIHAR IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia 1’42.594
13 Thomas LUTHI Liqui Moly Intact GP 1’42.618
14 Bo BENDSNEYDER NTS RW Racing GP 1’42.662
15 Enea BASTIANINI Italtrans Racing Team 1’42.677
16 Marcel SCHROTTER Liqui Moly Intact GP 1’42.913
17 Hafizh SYAHRIN Inde Aspar Team Moto2 1’42.966
18 Simone CORSI MV Agusta Forward Racing 1’44.210
19 Jorge NAVARRO HDR Heidrun Speed Up 1’46.609
20 Aron CANET Inde Aspar Team Moto2 1’46.697
21 Stefano MANZI MV Agusta Forward Racing 1’47.077
22 Tetsuta NAGASHIMA Red Bull KTM Ajo 1’47.432
23 Edgar PONS Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 1’47.984
24 Kasma DANIEL Onexox TKKR SAG Team 1’48.268
25 Lorenzo DALLA PORTA Italtrans Racing Team 1’48.406
26 Somkiat CHANTRA IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia 1’48.527
27 Marcos RAMIREZ Tennor American Racing 1’49.026
28 Piotr BIESIEKIRSKI NTS RW Racing GP 1’50.628


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