Zonta van den Goorbergh will be one of the two Dutchmen at the TT of Assen this weekend. Father Jurgen van den Goorbergh, the last Dutchman to cause a furore in the 500 cc (now MotoGP), is proud to see that his sixteen-year-old son performs above expectations in his debut year.
“It’s going great,” says Jurgen van den Goorbergh. “Zonta does something that no one has ever done before: skip Moto3 out of the blue and go straight to Moto2. From the first race the difference with the top riders was less than two seconds per lap and sometimes even less than a second. It is determined not for the last place busy.
Zonta van den Goorbergh finished in seven of his first ten races. His best result is a seventeenth place at the Grand Prix of France. The top fifteen will receive points for the world championship. “Zonta has already finished in the top twenty a number of times and then you can start thinking about World Cup points,” said Jurgen van den Goorbergh. “That is already in place and we would not have dared to predict that at the start of the season.”
Van den Goorbergh knew that his son was talented, but Zonta surprised him this year. The teenager was the fastest in the rain in the first free practice for the GP of Portugal. “That says something about his talent. He had never ridden in the rain with such a motorcycle. You could say it’s pure guts, but there’s also the art of mastering the bike in those conditions and riding it. Zonta has amazed a lot of people.”
Van den Goorbergh is quietly hoping for a wet track in Assen. “He is an extremely good rider in the rain, as it turned out. When it is wet, he has to go for it and he can deliver a surprising result. I will try to give him the confidence not to hesitate. If it stays dry, then it is top twenty and a point for the World Cup would be really nice.”
Jurgen van den Goorbergh participated eleven times in the TT of Assen.
‘We are working on a construction project’
Van den Goorbergh emphasizes that his son’s debut year should be seen as a learning season. “We are working on a construction project in which the first stones have been laid on the foundation. But before the roof is on it, we will be a year and a half further. For example, Zonta needs to become even stronger physically and you should not rush that. He should not become overtrained. “
The period when Van den Goorbergh still tinkered with his son’s motorcycle is over. “I am now his supervisor and everywhere without being a nuisance. Zonta is still so young. Motor racing is only 50 to 60 percent of the job. He also has to travel and get to the tracks, stay fit and be on time get food. His suit, gloves and helmet have to be ready and I’ll take care of all of that. He has a whole schedule and he has to stick to it. I’m strict about that.”
The first free practice of the TT of Assen in Moto2 starts on Friday at 10.55 am. The second free practice starts at 3.10 pm. The race in the second highest class starts on Sunday at 12.20 pm. The race in MotoGP starts at 2 p.m.
Schedule races TT Assen (Sunday)
- 11 a.m.: Moto3
- 12.20 pm: Moto2
- 2 p.m.: MotoGP