Sasaki takes pole at Le Mans, Veijer starts from row 7
Changeable conditions made the LIQUI MOLY Husqvarna Intact GP team's efforts on the qualifying Saturday at Le Mans more difficult. Ayumu Sasaki, however, took advantage of the dry quarter-hour in Q2 to secure pole position for the fifth race of the season, while rookie Collin Veijer had to settle for 19th on the grid after a violent highsider.
For Ayumu Sasaki, there is every reason to be happy on this mixed Saturday in France after the Japanese warhorse emerged second from the combined practice sessions and left the fierce competition behind by 0.309s in the afternoon qualifying session. The 22-year-old, who finished second in last year's rain race, is in good spirits for tomorrow's 20-lap race, which, however, is not expected to rain.
Things went less smoothly for the young Dutchman of the German racing team, as Collin Veijerhad to cope with a nasty highsider in turn 10 on a top lap while trying to make it into Q2. At the moment, the disappointment of failing to progress to Qualifying 2 and being 19th on the grid is predominant, but the 18-year-old Veijer's real hope is that the painful aftermath of the crash will not prevent him from exploiting his good pace in the race and making a push for the points.
The start of the 2023 Le Mans Grand Prix is at 11:00 am (CEST).
1. Jaume MASIA/ SPA/ KTM – 1'41.846
2. Ayumu SASAKI/ JAP/ HUSQVARNA – 1'41.983 (+0.137)
3. Xavi ARTIGAS/ SPA/ KTM – 1'42.164 (+0.318)
26. Collin VEIJER/ NED/ HUSQVARNA – 1'44.089 (+2.243)
1. Andrea MIGNO/ ITA/ KTM – 1'42.646
2. Stefano NEPA/ ITA/ KTM – 1'42.818 (+0.172)
3. David SALVADOR/ SPA/ KTM – 1'43.376 (+0.730)
5. Collin VEIJER/ NED/ HUSQVARNA – 1'43.816 (+1.170)
Ayumu SASAKI/ JAP/ HUSQVARNA – 1'41.630
Diogo MOREIRA/ BRA/ KTM – 1'41.939 (+0.309)
Daniel HOLGADO/ SPA/ KTM – 1'41.958 (+0.328)