Collin Veijer finishes wet #ArgentinaGP in 22nd, DNF for Ayumu Sasaki
Even though the LIQUI MOLY Husqvarna Intact GP team had not hoped for further rain on this race Sunday, it came as it was supposed to and so the two Moto3 riders from the Memmingen-based racing team were faced with the great challenge of quickly familiarising themselves with the conditions for the 18-lap race in only the warm-up lap.
Starting from pole position, Ayumu Sasaki got off the line well, but went a little wide in the first corner and eventually lined up in third position amidst thick swathes of spray, where he tried to find his rhythm in a nervous pack. A few overtakes and laps later, the young Japanese had to take a penalty for a manoeuvre he had done earlier and dropped one position from P2 to P3. But the 22-year-old Sasaki, still in chase mode, pushed straight back to second and within a few corners had put a safety margin behind him again, increasingly narrowing the gap to the leading compatriot, Tatsuki Suzuki. Then, in lap 11 of 18, the sudden end: in turn 13, Sasaki lost control due to a violent slide and high-side and thus a possible second place on the podium.
Further back in the field, Moto3 rookie Collin Veijer diligently turned one race lap after another and defied the circumstances with bravura. The 18-year-old may not take away World Championship points from this second round of his career as he had hoped, but he did take away a lot of new knowledge, because staying seated in a rainy race like this and finishing the race in P22 was not something that every one of his rivals managed to do, as many crashes in this race show.
After this busy start to the season, it is now time to take a break, celebrate Easter, and prepare for the third round of the season at the prestigious Circuit of the Americas, which will set the stage in Austin, Texas, from 14th to 16th of April.
P22 – (+55.636)
Moto3 World Championship 2023 – P19 – 4 Points
I didn’t have the best pace in today’s race and sadly, I wasn’t able to build a good feeling with the bike either. The bike itself was fine, it was just myself. I needed to push more in the rain but I was lacking confidence so I was hoping to do a good job today by finishing but it was really hard to do it. Hopefully, we can find something better in the rain in the future. In the dry, we had a good set-up so we will take this experience as a learning now.
Moto3 World Championship 2023 – P12 – 10 Points
It’s a disappointing end to this race. It was our first rain session this weekend so I started calmly and I knew I had a great feeling with the bike, the set-up was very good and everything was working well which is why I started to push a little bit harder after the first few laps. I had a collision with one rider. In my opinion, it was a normal racing incident but unfortunately, they gave me a penalty in which I had to drop one position. Therefore I needed to slow down a little bit in order to let one rider pass through. After that, I passed that rider again and I started to go back to my rhythm again but maybe I was rushing it a little bit too much at that point. This caused me to crash and I am obviously super disappointed with myself because it was solely my mistake. The good thing was that we had great speed despite not having ridden in those conditions before this weekend. We still can’t really show where we stand but we know we’re fast. Now we just need to stay calm and focused. We have the next race coming up in just two weeks’ time so we will overcome this pity now and try to do better in America.