Veijer and Suzuki on the hunt for points in Qatar

The setting sun heralded two exciting Moto3 qualifying sessions at the Losail International Circuit, in which Collin Veijer and Tatsuki Suzuki from the LIQUI MOLY Husqvarna Intact GP Moto3 Team endeavoured to secure the best possible grid positions for the season opener in Qatar. From grid rows four and seven, a lot is possible for both the Dutchman and the Japanese rider.

The legendary World Championship opener under floodlights is something special for every rider, but when the long and promising season begins in Qatar, the focus for the riders is solely on asserting themselves in the fiercely competitive 26-rider field.

Dutchman Collin Veijer emerged tenth from the two combined practice sessions on Friday and Saturday and ultimately confirmed this position in Qualifying 2, in which he was not only completely alone in the hunt for times and therefore did not benefit from slipstreaming like many others, but also did important work for the 16-lap race on Sunday thanks to a solid long run. The 19-year-old will lead the fourth row of the grid for the opening race, which starts at 15:00 (CET). Last year's rookie will be hoping for a good start and a pace that will allow him to move up well into the top 10.

Husqvarna rookie Tatsuki Suzuki finished seventh in free practice on Friday afternoon. However, the 26-year-old then slipped back to 23rd place in the P1 and P2 practice sessions, which made a start in Qualifying 1 unavoidable. In the 15-minute Q1, the veteran was ultimately just 0.113s short of making it into Qualifying 2 and thus also of a second chance for one of the front grid positions. Fifth place at the end of the tight 1st qualifying session means 19th place on the grid in row seven for Suzuki. Finishing in the points is not an easy task, but not an impossible one either.


Free Practice
1.  Ivan ORTOLA/  SPA/ KTM – 2'04.205
2.  Jose Antonio RUEDA/ SPA/ KTM – 2'04.373 (+0.168)
3.  David MUÑOZ/ SPA/ KTM – 2'04.445 (+0.240)
5.  Tatsuki SUZUKI/ JPN/ HUSQVARNA – 2'04.792 (+0.587)
7.  Collin VEIJER/ NED/ HUSQVARNA – 2'04.969 12 14 0.764

1.   Daniel HOLGADO/ SPA/ GASGAS – 2'03.606
2.   Adrian FERNANDEZ/ SPA/ HONDA – 2'03.669 (+0.063)
3.   Matteo BERTELLE/ ITA/ HONDA – 2'03.775 (+0.169)
16. Collin VEIJER/ NED/ HUSQVARNA – 2'05.162 (+1.556)
17. Tatsuki SUZUKI/ JPN/ HUSQVARNA – 2'05.215 (+1.609)

1.   Jose Antonio RUEDA/ SPA/ KTM – 2'03.465
2.   David ALONSO/ COL/ CFMOTO – 2'03.521 (+0.056)
3.   Ivan ORTOLA/  SPA/ KTM – 2'03.524 (+0.059)
8.   Collin VEIJER/ NED/ HUSQVARNA – 2'04.150 (+0.685)
21. Tatsuki SUZUKI/ JPN/ HUSQVARNA – 2'05.212 (+1.747)

1. Filippo FARIOLI/ ITA/ HONDA – 2'03.541 
2. Angel PIQUERAS/ SPA/ HONDA – 2'03.892 (+0.351)
3. Luca LUNETTA/ ITA/ HONDA – 2'04.129 (+0.588)
4. Taiyo FURUSATO/ JPN/ HONDA – 2'04.355 (+0.814)
5. Tatsuki SUZUKI/ JPN/ HUSQVARNA – 2'04.468 (+0.927)

1.   Daniel HOLGADO/ SPA/ GASGAS – 2'02.276
2.   Ivan ORTOLA/  SPA/ KTM – 2'02.541 (+0.265)
3.   Jose Antonio RUEDA/ SPA/ KTM – 2'02.596 (+0.320)
10. Collin VEIJER/ NED/ HUSQVARNA – 2'03.249 (+0.973)