Sasaki ends heated podium battle in fourth, Veijer 23rd after crash
The Jerez Grand Prix lived up to its reputation as the Moto3 race was action-packed right up to the last corner, not least thanks to LIQUI MOLY Husqvarna Intact GP rider Ayumu Sasaki's catch-up. Team-mate Collin Veijer showed a strong race but crashed and ended up in P23.
On a cooler morning, compared to the hot last few days, the two LIQUI MOLY Husqvarna Intact GP Moto3 riders set out to fulfill their mission to collect as many world championship points as possible.
For Ayumu Sasaki, the start and the early stages were rather mixed, but when the Japanese rider finally found his rhythm, he started his chase from 12th position and closed a gap of over two seconds, putting him in the podium fight in fourth place with four laps to go. A few heated manoeuvres later, the 22-year-old crossed the finish line 0.422s behind Ivan Ortolá, David Alonso, and Jaume Masia. Thanks to his 13 points, Sasaki climbs to 9th place in the World Championship.
Starting the race from 16th on the grid, the young Dutchman, Collin Veijer, lost a few positions but fought his way up to 15th through his perseverance and was again on course for points when he crashed at turn six on lap 13 of 19. The rookie rejoined the race and eventually finished in 23rd position. Although the disappointment about the lost points may be great at first, the 18-year-old Veijer impressively showed what a snappy racer he is.
Before the traditional Le Mans Circuit hosts the fifth Grand Prix weekend from the 12th - 14th of May in a fortnight's time, there will be tests at the Andalusian circuit following the Jerez Grand Prix on Tuesday, where Collin Veijer and Ayumu Sasaki want to pave the way to further successes with their crews.
1. Ivan ORTOLÁ/ SPA/ KTM
2. David ALONSO/ COL/ GASGAS – (+0.034)
3. Jaume MASIA/ SPA/ HONDA – (+0.215)
4. Ayumu SASAKI / JPN / Husqvarna – (+0.422)
23. Collin VEIJER / NED / Husqvarna – (+35.488)
Moto3 World Championship:
1. Daniel HOLGADO / SPA / KTM / 59
2. Diogo MOREIRA / BRA / KTM / 55
3. Ivan ORTOLÁ/ SPA/ KTM/ 50
9. Ayumu SASAKI / JPN / Husqvarna / 23
21. Collin VEIJER / NED / Husqvarna / 7