Sasaki grabs 2nd place on Austin grid, Veijer P21
In Austin, Texas, LIQUI MOLY Husqvarna Intact GP rider Ayumu Sasaki moved up to second on the grid for the third World Championship round of the season, while teammate Collin Veijer will attack his first US race from the seventh row on position P21.
At the Circuit of the Americas, the two LIQUI MOLY Husqvarna Intact GP Team Moto3 riders worked diligently on Friday and Saturday to set up their machines for the challenging 5.5km track and find a solid pace for qualifying and Sunday's race.
Ayumu Sasaki visibly got on well from the start, as evidenced by his leading position at the end of the first day of practice. After overnight rain, Sasaki sat out P3 as the times were far behind those of the previous day. The 22-year-old Japanese rider was, after all, already safely in Q2, in which he secured a strong second place on the grid for the 17-lap race on Saturday afternoon. Sasaki was just 0.101s behind pole setter Jaume Masia.
For his part, Moto3 rookie Collin Veijer mastered a good debut on this technically very demanding track by finishing the first day in P17 with a 2'18.041. On Saturday, the Dutchman improved to eleventh in the third practice session, but that was not enough in the combined standings for a direct entry into Qualifying 2. Unfortunately, a small slip shortly before the end of the 15-minute Q1 session meant that the youngster narrowly missed out on making it into Q2. Accordingly, Veijer will start the race from position 21 on row seven, which begins at 18:00 (CEST) on Sunday.
1. Ayumu SASAKI/ JAP/ Husqvarna – 2'16.306
2. Jaume MASIA/ SPA/ HONDA – 2'16.482 (+0.176)
3. Ivan ORTOLÁ/ SPA/ KTM – 2'16.762 (+0.456)
17. Collin VEIJER / NED / Husqvarna – 2'18.041 (+1.735)
1. Xavier ARTIGAS/ SPA/ CFMOTO – 2'17.318
2. Syarifuddin AZMAN/ MAL/ KTM – 2'17.542 (+0.224)
3. David SALVADOR/ SPA/ KTM – 2'17.597 (+0.279)
7. Collin VEIJER / NED / Husqvarna – 2'18.129 (+0.811)
1. Jaume MASIA/ SPA/ HONDA – 2'16.250
2. Ayumu SASAKI/ JAP/ Husqvarna – 2'16.351 (+0.101)
3. Ivan ORTOLÁ/ SPA/ KTM – 2'16.556 (+0.306)