Positive improvements for Odendaal and NTS in the race in Texas
Round three of the 2018 Moto2 World Championship took place this weekend, 20-22 April, on the atypical “rollercoaster” Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, rounding off the initial overseas part of the season before the MotoGP circus returns to Europe. Steven Odendaal, having made a promising step forward in Argentina a couple of weeks ago aboard his NTS machine of Team RW Racing GP, was expecting a slightly more difficult weekend in Texas.
Steven Odendaal (21st): “This circuit is very different from any other circuit on the calendar. There are many chicanes and you really need to find the perfect set-up to make the bike turn the way you need. The NTS has never been around this track before so we battled to get me comfortable on the bike on Friday and Saturday. We tried so many different things each day but did not manage to find a good solution before the race. We tried again on Sunday in warm-up but ended up racing with the set-up from qualifying. I managed to improve in the race and was consistently quicker than in qualifying. I passed quite a few riders and finished 21st from 29th on the grid. Which overall, given how difficult the weekend was for us, I am quite happy about. I was quicker than a couple of riders in front of me, so had we found the little extra on Saturday to qualify in a better position, we would have had a much better chance in the race. This is now our main target, to work quicker and be more efficient during the weekend. It is challenging with the lack of data we have, but the team is working really hard and I would like to say huge thanks for the effort they are putting in. We will come stronger in the European races. I am looking forward to Jerez, we have raced there before with the NTS and have at least a base to work from to try and score our first points.”
Round four and the first race of the season back on the European continent will take place on 6 May in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain.