Row 2 start for Sasaki in Assen, local hero Veijer strong ninth
The Dutch TT in Assen could turn into another Moto3 thriller on Sunday after an ultra-tight qualifying session, with LIQUI MOLY Husqvarna Intact GP teammates Ayumu Sasaki and Collin Veijer starting from positions four on row two and P9 on row three after strong teamwork.
Q2 was a close call for Ayumu Sasaki in particular. With the waving of the chequered flag, he was displaced by 0.329s from the until then provisional pole position. Hardly measurable is also the 0.002s gap with which he had to relinquish the first row of the grid. Earlier, in his team-mate's slipstream, the Japanese rider set the new fastest time on the 4.54km Dutch circuit. As time expired and the 22-year-old was not allowed to complete another lap, David Muñoz and Joel Kelso pushed past and eventually displaced Sasaki down into fourth, from where he will lead the second row of the grid into the 20-lap race.
Carried by the hopes of his thousands of supporters, local hero Collin Veijer seems to be coping well with the huge pressure of the home race. On Friday, with top 10 times in P2, the Dutchman already showed that the TT Circuit Assen suits him well. Motivated to put on a great show for his fans and place himself in the best possible starting position for Sunday's 11:00 am race, the 18-year-old raced to a fantastic ninth on the grid in row three. In the meantime, the Moto3 rookie was even further ahead when, as already at the Sachsenring, he burned strong times on the 44°C hot asphalt in cooperation with Sasaki.
True to the motto "Teamwork makes the Dream work", LIQUI MOLY Husqvarna Intact GPteammates Sasaki and Veijer head into the eighth round of the season hoping to score plenty more world championship points before the five-week summer break.
1. Jaume MASIA/SPA/ HONDA – 1'41.667
2. Stefano NEPA/ ITA/ KTM – 1'41.929 (+0.262)
3. Romano FENATI/ ITA/ HONDA – 1'42.034 (+0.367)
7. Ayumu SASAKI/ JAP/ HUSQVARNA – 1'42.313 (+0.646)
17. Collin VEIJER/ NED/ HUSQVARNA – 1'42.975 (+1.308)
1. Jaume MASIA/SPA/ HONDA – 1'41.579
2. Romano FENATI/ ITA/ HONDA – 1'41.982 (+0.403)
3. David MUÑOZ/ SPA/ KTM – 1'42.002 (+0.423)
10. Collin VEIJER/ NED/ HUSQVARNA – 1'42.746 (+1.167)
13. Ayumu SASAKI/ JAP/ HUSQVARNA – 1'42.913 (+1.334)
1. Stefano NEPA/ ITA/ KTM – 1'41.713
2. José Antonio RUEDA/ SPA/ KTM – 1'41.780 (+0.067)
3. Jaume MASIA/SPA/ HONDA – 1'41.822 (+0.109)
8. Ayumu SASAKI/ JAP/ HUSQVARNA – 1'41.958 (+0.245)
13. Collin VEIJER/ NED/ HUSQVARNA – 1'42.137 (+0.424)
1. David MUÑOZ/ SPA/ KTM – 1'41.181
2. Joel KELSO/ AUS/ CFMOTO – 1'41.472 (+0.291)
3. Riccardo ROSSI/ ITA/ HONDA – 1'41.510 (+0.329)
4. Ayumu SASAKI/ JAP/ HUSQVARNA – 1'41.512 (+0.331)
9. Collin VEIJER/ NED/ HUSQVARNA – 1'41.758 (+0.577)