Sasaki takes P3 in Indian spectacle, Veijer loses podium in penultimate corner
The Buddh International Circuit produced another sensational battle in the Moto3 category, with the LIQUI MOLY Husqvarna Intact GP Moto3 duo also battling with and against each other on the edge. Ayumu Sasaki finally crossed the finish line in third place, which team-mate Collin Veijer did not get to see after a collision on the very last lap.
It was hair-raising scenes on the last of 16 laps at the Indian track that hosted the first-ever Motorcycle World Championship races this weekend.
Ayumu Sasaki, who had been steadily improving over all three days, got right into the action from his third place on the grid by chasing down Jaume Masia in second position. For a long time, it seemed as if the Japanese was faster and as if he was studying the Spaniard, but after almost eleven laps, the 22-year-old could no longer keep up with the leading pace, while the next danger was approaching from behind. None other than teammate Collin Veijer and compatriot Kaito Toba were stalking the runner-up with big steps. The final three laps turned into a thriller, the end of which remained open until the finish line. Hardly anything fitted between the trio in the fight for the remaining two podium places, but two corners before the end there was contact between the teammates in the heated duel, which unfortunately brought Veijer to the ground.
It was a bitter end for the young Dutchman, who put in an absolutely fantastic performance over these 16 sweaty laps. In the battle for his first-ever Grand Prix podium, the Moto3 rookie, just 18, fought tenaciously with everything in his power. Getting away well from the start, Collin Veijerquickly stalked his way to third place, from where he took up the chase of his teammate Sasaki. The beneficiary of his strong solo pace was Kaito Toba, who then launched a final attack and made life difficult for the riders of the German racing team. It could have been the first podium for Collin Veijer, but in just a week's time, he will start the race in Japan stronger from the first Indian Grand Prix, where he will try to pick up where he left off so impressively at the Buddh International Circuit. Fortunately, Veijer was unhurt.
In the world championship standings, meanwhile, a head-to-head fight is developing between Daniel Holgado, Jaume Masia, and LIQUI MOLY Husqvarna Intact GP rider Ayumu Sasaki, who is just one point behind the duo, who are tied on points, before the Japanese Grand Prix on home soil from 29.09. - 01.10.2023 will once again be about victory number one this season and the world championship lead.
1. Jaume MASIA/ SPA/ HONDA – (+0.036)
2. Kaito TOBA/ JAP/ HONDA – (+5.477)
3. Ayumu SASAKI/ JAP/ HUSQVARNA – (+5.784)
DNF Collin VEIJER/ NED/ HUSQVARNA
1. Daniel HOLGADO/ SPA – 174
2. Jaume MASIA/ SPA/ – 174 (-0)
3. Ayumu SASAKI/ JAP – 173 (-1)
13. Collin VEIJER/ NED – 58 (-103)
1. RED BULL KTM AJO – 240
2. LIQUI MOLY HUSQVARNA INTACT GP – 231 (-9)
3. LEOPARD RACING – 224 (-16)