Career best result for Odendaal at season’s final
Steven Odendaal scored 3 world championship points for a 13th position in damp Valencia at the 2018 Moto2 World Championship season’s final to start his preparation for 2019 Moto2 season with a career best result.
“The weekend was very difficult for us so to be walking away with three world championship points, I couldn’t be more happy! I was very confident going into this weekend because I know this circuit well and have raced the NTS here before. However, the conditions were really tricky this time. I had a total of 5 crashes this weekend, which equals the number of crashed I had during the whole season! It definitely wasn’t the best way to prepare for the last race and to build my confidence. The whole of Friday was wet as well as FP3 on Saturday morning, the only dry session was the qualifying. We used our setting from the pre-season test and thought we would go for the gold but we didn’t realise that it was 50 degrees at the last test and there were no wet spots, so I felt very uncomfortable with the bike, which led to a miserable P22 qualifying position. In Sunday’s warm-up I saw the gravel trap in corner 4 for the 3rd time this weekend and based on the data we were not able to identify the cause of the crash. I was entering the corner and braking exactly the same as on the previous lap. As a result, I had to be more careful in the race because I was not entirely sure where the limit was and I knew it was important to finish the last race of the season in a good position. I was 14th with a few laps to go just trying to concentrate and maintain my rhythm when I realised I was catching Pecco Bagnaia. I managed to close the gap and pass him to finish 13th, which is my career best result in the Moto2 World Championship.
I am very happy to finish the season in this way and extremely motivated to start preparing for 2019 with the same team. The new NTS model powered by the triumph engine starts a new exciting era and I am looking forward to see what 2019 has in store. Huge thanks to my team RW Racing, NTS, all my sponsors especially Rev’It, Schuberth, Rainers, Galfer, Spark and others, my family and fans for their support – without you all this year would not have been possible. Next year will be interesting, it will be my second year in a row in the World Championship, which will definitely help with track knowledge and my confidence generally. A brand new bike, new team mate – I cannot wait to get started in Jerez next week where we have our first 2019 winter test. I will keep you all updated on how it goes!”