Moto2: Barry Baltus, the 16 year old Moto2 rookie
After one season in Moto3, Barry Baltus steps up to Moto2 at just 16 years old.
Barry Baltus, a rider named after his and his fathers’ racing hero Barry Sheene, donning the famous #7 with the cross through it (changed to 70 with the number 7 taken in Moto3 and Moto2) and running a Sheene replica helmet with his own spin on it.
He has had an incredibly rapid rise to the Moto2 class, moving into the class as a rookie at just 16 years old, he has been on an upward trajectory for some time now, impressing in the CEV and Red Bull Rookies. After winning various races in the European Talent Cup, Barry Baltus stepped up to the CEV Moto3 Junior World Championship at 14 years old when his age let him as the minimum age for the class is 14 years old, something which would trouble him again in the future.
Baltus at the CEV Moto3 round at Estoril before his race win racing for the Aspar Team
Despite this, he was able to make an impact very quickly, taking pole position in only his third race and finished the season in P31 overall with a best result of P9, P31 doesn’t sound amazing, but when you take into account the 64 riders who entered over the season, it’s pretty good for a rookie. Over in the Red Bull Rookies he was able to make an impact, taking P11 overall in the standings with a best result of P4 on the KTM machinery.
2019 was an outstanding season for Baltus, in the Red Bull Rookies he took 2 podium finishes and various top 10 finishes, he was forced to miss two races and finished in P12 overall, the missing races reflecting this. Over in the CEV class he was making his name heard, he took 4 podiums in the class and a race win at 14 years old, finishing in P4 overall, just 3 points behind Xavier Artigas who we all know is incredibly fast. This opened the door to him for a world championship ride with the Prustel GP squad.
Remember the age thing we mentioned? Yeah, that came around again, when the season started, Baltus was 15 years old, the minimum age for the class is 16 (without a special dispensation like a CEV Moto3 or Red Bull Rookies title), forcing him to miss the first race of the season, COVID-19 saw him through to 16 years old and his season started in Jerez.
Riding for the Prustel GP Moto3 team in 2020
His 2020 season left much to be desired, not scoring a single point all season but finishing in P16 three times, Baltus has always been fairly tall for his age, this was not too bad when he was younger as it gave him an advantage over other riders but as time has gone by, this has caused him to get too big for the bike he is riding, this has meant he has struggled in Moto3 this year as he was not able to ride the Moto3 bike comfortably at the level he has previously shown.
Therefore, it was decided he would move to the Moto2 class on a bike which favours his size of 5″11, especially given that he is only 16 so has many more years to keep growing into his Moto2 bike, he was picked up by the RW Racing Team for 2021 and 2022, sadly people have dubbed him as a ‘pay rider’ without knowing the true story behind this, nor do they know how much talent he possesses. In the Jerez post-season test he was able to put in some solid lap times, plus with Hafizh Syahrin as his teammate, he will have a veteran to be able to gain information and knowledge from as he adapts to the class.
Featured images – www.motogp.com/Jerez Circuit/RW Racing/Aspar team