Veijer strong fifth and Sasaki seventh in Misano battle
The San Marino Grand Prix was a thriller in many ways - including for the LIQUI MOLY Husqvarna Intact GP team, as while injured rookie Collin Veijer took a sensational fifth place, Ayumu Sasaki fought for every point in P7, leaving Italy just four points off the world championship lead.
There are no words of praise to do young Dutchman Collin Veijer justice in his rookie season. Just one week after his severe Q2 highsider, Veijer delivered a masterpiece in Misano that deserves a lot of respect and recognition. Starting from tenth position, the 18-year-old carefully but gradually made his way forward until he finally reached the chasing group. There, he fought off veterans like Kaito Toba and teammate Ayumu Sasaki, and just when everyone was starting to struggle with the degrading tyres, the youngster really turned it up a notch and even achieved the best top speed of the race with 213.4 km/h. Within a few laps, he secured fifth place and finally crossed the finish line with a lead of almost three seconds over his pursuers. Thanks to this fantastic performance, Veijer collected eleven more World Championship points and is now in 13th after 12 races.
A seventh place is certainly not what Ayumu Sasaki was aiming for in Misano, but the Japanese rider can rely on the downer that Championship leader Daniel Holgado failed to score any points at all in the 20-lap race. Earlier, the 22-year-old had a rocket start from P2, took the holeshot in turn 1, but had to admit defeat due to brute manoeuvres by Jaume Masia, Deniz Öncü, Diogo Moreira and the eventual race winner David Alonso. In the further course of the race, Sasaki fought against his teammate, among others, for fifth position, but had problems in his left forearm, which made it difficult for him to clutch. In the end, the World Championship runner-up crossed the finish line in a solid seventh place, meaning he will travel overseas, for the final stage of the World Championship just four points behind, where he will try to use his consistency to claim the title.
After these exhausting weekends, it's time to take a breath and recharge for the remaining eight races, seven of which will take place on the other side of the world, so there are many exciting and title-deciding weeks ahead. The action continues with the first-ever Indian Grand Prix from the 22nd - 24th of September at the Buddh International Circuit, where no one has ever raced before.
1. David ALONSO/SPA/GASGAS
2. Jaume MASIA/ SPA/ HONDA – (+0.036)
3. Deniz ÖNCÜ/ TUR/ KTM – (+0.237)
5. Collin VEIJER/ NED/ HUSQVARNA – (+4.800)
7. Ayumu SASAKI/ JAP/ HUSQVARNA – (+7.782)
1. Daniel HOLGADO/ SPA - 161
2. Ayumu SASAKI/ JAP – 157 (-4)
3. Jaume MASIA/ SPA/ – 149 (-12)
13. Collin VEIJER/ NED – 58 (-103)
1. RED BULL KTM AJO – 232
2. LIQUI MOLY HUSQVARNA INTACT GP – 215 (-17)
3. ANGELUSS MTA TEAM – 202 (-30)