Triumphant final victory crowns Sasaki as runner-up in Valencia
The LIQUI MOLY Husqvarna Intact GP Team wins the 2023 Team World Championship title in Valencia in an emotional finale thanks to a brilliant victory by runner-up Ayumu Sasaki and an extremely strong fourth place by rookie Collin Veijer.
Sometimes fate writes strange but wonderful stories. In his last ever Moto3 race, Ayumu Sasakiwins his first and last race of the season a week after losing the world title - a liberating blow for the Japanese rider, who crowns his successful season with the runner-up world title. The 23-year-old made a fantastic start from second on the grid, took the holeshot, but then had to let his team-mate pass him. With numerous fastest race laps, Sasaki reeled off his laps with precision and took advantage of the moment to take the lead just a few kilometers before the end. Neither David Alonso nor Ivan Ortolá found a way past Sasaki and so he took a highly emotional victory that filled the entire team with pride.
Eleven podium finishes, including three third places, seven second places, and a magnificent final victory to round off his Moto3 career, make Ayumu Sasaki a more than deserving runner-up champion, just six points behind world champion Jaume Masia, before his path takes him to Moto2, for which the entire LIQUI MOLY Husqvarna Intact GP team wishes him all the best.
The second-best rookie of the year, Collin Veijer, put in the most leading kilometers on this gloriously sunny race day in Valencia. From lap 1 to lap 17, the fast Dutchman set a strong pace and made the most of his pole position. This was all the more remarkable after Veijer crashed on the sighting lap, which caused his crew another stir shortly before the start of the race, as the handlebars were clearly bent. A small mistake four laps before the end of the race dropped the 18-year-old back to fourth place, from which he was unable to escape despite several attempts to attack. A further 13 championship points took his points tally to 149, which ultimately secured him seventh place in the championship - a performance that far exceeded all expectations. The youngster finished on the podium twice this season and even celebrated his maiden victory in Moto3 in Malaysia. Collin Veijer's story continues, as he will keeo fighting for further career highlights with the LIQUI MOLY Husqvarna Intact GP team in 2024.
By winning the Team World Championship title, the LIQUI MOLY Husqvarna Intact GP Team closes the Moto3 season on a well-deserved high with pride and gratitude. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank all our sponsors and partners for their support this season. However, true to the motto "After the season is before the season", there is little time to take a breather after the FIM awards on Sunday evening because the Moto3 squad around Collin Veijer and newcomer Tatsuki Suzuki are already awaiting the Pirelli tyre test in Valencia on Monday, which will give a first exciting foretaste of the 2024 season.
1. Ayumu SASAKI/ JAP/ HUSQVARNA
2. David ALONSO/ COL/ GASGAS – (+0.082)
3. Ivan ORTOLÁ/ SPA/ KTM – (+0.128)
4. Collin VEIJER/ NED/ HUSQVARNA – (+0.266)
1. Jaume MASIA/ SPA/ – 274
2. Ayumu SASAKI/ JAP – 268 (-6)
3. David Alonso/ SPA - 245 (-29)
7. Collin VEIJER/ NED – 149 (-125)
1. LIQUI MOLY HUSQVARNA INTACT GP – 417
2. LEOPARD RACING – 349 (- 68)
3. RED BULL KTM AJO – 344 (- 73)