Sasaki storms 1st row in India, rookie Veijer starts from row 3

The debut at the Buddh International Circuit could hardly have gone better for the LIQUI MOLY Husqvarna Intact GP Moto3 team. Ayumu Sasaki finished a strong third on the grid in adverse conditions, while rookie Collin Veijer eventually took ninth on row three after an extremely successful India opener.

It is the rainy season in India and so the threat of monsoon-like downpours was always hovering around during the two days of practice so far. Until qualifying, the Moto3 riders were lucky to complete all three practices in the dry. Just in time for Q2, the clouds opened over the 5.01 km circuit outside New Delhi. When the 15-minute Q2 session could be started after a considerable delay, Ayumu Sasaki set to work for a good starting position. In the sessions before, he had already laid the foundation for this with successive improvements. From position 10 in the first practice to P7 in the second and third place in the final free practice on Saturday morning, the Japanese rider worked out a set-up that made him feel almost perfectly on his fast Husqvarna. The 22-year-old will start the one-lap shortened 16-lap race from the third grid position on row 1, for which he is hopeful thanks to his strong pace regardless of the weather.

When the lights go out at 09:00 German time on Sunday morning for the 13th Grand Prix of the year, Collin Veijer will also be looking to prove himself from ninth on the grid. From row three, the young Dutchman, who even took the lead over the 30-rider-strong field in P2 thanks to a 1'59.566, has the best chance of positioning himself within the leading pack right at the start of what will hopefully be a dry heat battle. The 18-year-old managed to set consistently strong lap times on his own, which makes him confident for race day.


1. Jaume MASIA/ SPA/ HONDA – 2'00.324
2. Diogo MOREIRA/ BRA/ KTM – 2'00.465 (+0.141)
3. Stefano NEPA/ ITA/ KTM – 2'00.615 (+0.291)
6. Collin VEIJER/ NED/ HUSQVARNA – 2'00.777 (+0.453)
10. Ayumu SASAKI/ JAP/ HUSQVARNA – 2'01.383 (+1.059)

1. Collin VEIJER/ NED/ HUSQVARNA – 1'59.566
2. Jaume MASIA/ SPA/ HONDA – 1'59.752 (+0.186)
3. Stefano NEPA/ ITA/ KTM – 2'00.122 (+0.556)
7. Ayumu SASAKI/ JAP/ HUSQVARNA – 2'00.412 (+0.846)

1. Diogo MOREIRA/ BRA/ KTM – 1'59.375
2. Jaume MASIA/ SPA/ HONDA – 1'59.438 (+0.063)
3. Ayumu SASAKI/ JAP/ HUSQVARNA – 1'59.516 (+0.141)

1. Jaume MASIA/ SPA/ HONDA – 2'09.336
2. Matteo BERTELLE/ ITA/ HONDA – 2'10.063 (+0.727)
3. Ayumu SASAKI/ JAP/ HUSQVARNA – 2'10.104 (+0.768)
9. Collin VEIJER/ NED/ HUSQVARNA – 2'10.968 (+1.632)