Sasaki takes second in Sachsenring blockbuster
In the 23-lap thriller in which the last corner decided the race win, Ayumu Sasaki finished a magnificent second at the LIQUI MOLY Husqvarna Intact GP team's home GP. After a rocket start out of the second row, rookie Collin Veijer crashed in lap two.
With starting positions 1 and 4, everything was set for a spectacular Moto3 race in front of hundreds of thousands of fans. Youngster Collin Veijer and pole man Ayumu Sasaki got off to a fantastic start and together took the holeshot in turn 1. It could have been the race of a lifetime for the 18-year-old Dutchman, but after an initial tussle, Veijer crashed on the second lap in turn 13 while lying in sixth position and had to be brought back to the pits with his head down, where his team cheered him up and gave him courage for his home race next week.
The race of top favorite Ayumu Sasaki was also bittersweet. For the Japanese rider, the start-finish victory was within his grasp, but after the fast Husqvarna rider had opened up a lead of more than 1.5s over the chasing group, his closest rival, Deniz Öncü, suddenly came closing in big steps from lap nine onwards. Lap after lap, Sasaki's gap melted away until, just seven laps before the end of the race, there was nothing left in-between him and the Turk. The 22-year-old Sasaki tenaciously defended his leading position and finally had to watch Öncü pass him in the last corner, with the finish line already in sight, with a targeted attack in the slipstream. It could have been the summer fairytale of the German LIQUI MOLY Husqvarna Intact GP team, but with 23 laps of leading work, it is only a matter of time before Ayumu Sasaki climbs the top step of the podium. He is just three points short of passing Ivan Ortona for third in the World Championship ranking.
The Moto3 squad leaves the German Grand Prix with one eye laughing and one eye crying, but will go into the Dutch TT in Assen stronger than ever, where Dutchman Collin Veijer will contest his home race from the 23rd - 25th of June 2023.
1. Deniz ÖNCÜ/ TUR/ KTM
2. Ayumu SASAKI/ JAP/ HUSQVARNA – (+0.095)
3. Daniel HOLGADO/ SPA/ KTM – (+12.074)
DNF Collin VEIJER/ NED/ HUSQVARNA
1. Daniel HOLGADO/ SPA - 125
2. Jaume MASIA/ SPA/ – 84
3. Ivan ORTOLÁ/ SPA – 81
4. Ayumu SASAKI/ JAP – 79
17. Collin VEIJER/ NED – 18
1. RED BULL KTM TECH3 – 127
2. LEOPARD RACING – 122
3. ANGELUSS MTA TEAM – 121
4. RED BULL KTM AJO – 120
5. LIQUI MOLY HUSQVARNA INTACT GP – 97