At just 16 years old, Zonta van den Goorbergh is Moto2’s youngest rookie.
Zonta van den Goorbergh is a surprising face on the Moto2 entry list coming from the CEV Moto3 class where he was just a rookie in 2021, the young Dutchman has been catapulted straight into the Moto2 World Championship leaving many wondering why he was chosen to race for RW Racing.
The simple answer is because he is fast, has shown he can make significant progress in a short amount of time, is likely to outgrow the Moto3 bike very soon, and finally he is Dutch which is highly lucrative for the Dutch RW Racing Team.
You may recognise the surname and pair it with Jurgen van den Goorbergh, you’d be right in guessing that the pair are related with Zonta being the son of Jurgen, an ex-racer himself competing in the 250cc, 500cc and MotoGP championships in the 90s and early ’00s.
Zonta in the European Talent Cup.
Zonta has come through the ranks of Dutch competition originally racing on dirt in national motocross series’ before turning his attention over to tarmac where he felt he had the chance to excel and make a name for himself, eventually arriving in the European Talent Cup in 2019 and the Red Bull Rookies series racing against the fastest riders in Europe.
In 2019 Zonta would finish in P13 overall in the rookies and P25 in the European Talent Cup spending the year navigating the circuits as one of the youngest riders in both classes at only 13 years old, he would gain experience and knowledge of his competitors switching between the standard Honda NSF250R of the European Talent Cup and the Moto3 based KTM RC250R of the rookies series.
2020 was his breakout year over in the European Talent Cup, the season started as a slow burner but soon began to snowball as the results tumbled in with his first victory coming at Jerez before doing the triple in the following race weekend at Aragon winning all three races, catapulting him up the standings to finish as the eventual runner up. In the rookies he would improve to P8 overall establishing himself as a regular top 10 finisher however would opt to not continue in the rookies for the 2021 season stating that the Junior Moto3 World Championship was the better path for his career.
His move to Moto2 was met with mixed responses.
He proved in 2020 that he could adapt incredibly quickly going from P25 overall in 2019 to P2 overall in the European Talent Cup, fast progression became a highlight of Zonta’s riding abilities proving this from the offset in the Junior Moto3 World Championship in 2021.
It once again would be a slow burner racing within his own Moto3 team on the Honda NSF250RW, he would score his first points in the fifth round of the season and wouldn’t feature out of them for the remainder of the season finishing with a best result of P7 in his last race, sitting out of the last round as he opted to test the Moto2 machine in Jerez. He placed in P17 overall.
Despite maybe being a little inexperienced in Moto3, he has made the move over to Moto2 and already looks to be impressing in pre-season tests lapping within 2 seconds of lap record pace proving once again he adapts very quickly. He has youth on his side and there’s no doubt that the talent is there.
If you want to hear his full story you can listen to our podcast episode with him here.
Featured images – RW Racing