Sasaki takes 2nd in blockbuster #GermanGP, DNF for Veijer

 In Moto3, News

In the 23-lap thriller in which the last corner decided the race win, Ayumu Sasaki finished a magnificent second at the LIQUI MOLY Husqvarna Intact GP team’s home GP. After a rocket start out of the second row, rookie Collin Veijer crashed in lap two.

With starting positions 1 and 4, everything was set for a spectacular Moto3 race in front of hundreds of thousands of fans. Youngster Collin Veijer and pole man Ayumu Sasaki got off to a fantastic start and together took the holeshot in turn 1. It could have been the race of a lifetime for the 18-year-old Dutchman, but after an initial tussle, Veijer crashed on the second lap in turn 13 while lying in sixth position and had to be brought back to the pits with his head down, where his team cheered him up and gave him courage for his home race next week.

The race of top favorite Ayumu Sasaki was also bittersweet. For the Japanese rider, the start-finish victory was within his grasp, but after the fast Husqvarna rider had opened up a lead of more than 1.5s over the chasing group, his closest rival, Deniz Öncü, suddenly came closing in big steps from lap nine onwards. Lap after lap, Sasaki’s gap melted away until, just seven laps before the end of the race, there was nothing left in between him and the Turk. The 22-year-old Sasaki tenaciously defended his leading position and finally had to watch Öncü pass him in the last corner, with the finish line already in sight, with a targeted attack in the slipstream. It could have been the summer fairytale of the German LIQUI MOLY Husqvarna Intact GP team, but with 23 laps of leading work, it is only a matter of time before Ayumu Sasaki climbs the top step of the podium. He is just three points short of passing Ivan Ortona for third in the World Championship ranking.

The Moto3 squad leaves the German Grand Prix with one eye laughing and one eye crying, but will go into the Dutch TT in Assen stronger than ever, where Dutchman Collin Veijer will contest his home race from the 23rd – 25th of June 2023.

Ayumu Sasaki – P2 (+0.095)

It was a good race and I knew Deniz was behind me. In the middle of the race, when he was catching me, I couldn’t believe it because I was doing 1:26.2 times and he was still able to close the gap, so fair play to him. He rode very well and I definitely had the pace but on the last lap, I knew he would be right behind me. I didn’t know where he would attack but I knew that if he would choose the last corner, I wouldn’t be able to do anything about it. I did my best to stay in front and close the door. Sadly he passed me and finished first. The positive thing is that we showed speed. And we’re a lot faster than last year. We are improving and showing everyone that I am fast. Still no victory this year but my desire to win just keeps growing, especially as I was capable of winning the race today. I felt that Deniz didn’t wanna go in front of me but I wanted to save my tyre that was slowly dropping. I believe that he wouldn’t have been able to open a gap though. I am happy that I was leading the race, I had an incredible pace and felt comfortable and even if the ending to the last lap was unfortunate for me, I can say that I’ve learned from it.

Collin Veijer – DNF

The crash was sadly my own fault as I was quite late on the brakes and then the bike chattered away on the front. I just couldn’t hold it anymore. Maybe I was a bit optimistic in the first part and tried to stay with the people in front but overall, I think, we have to look at the positives of this weekend. I think P4 in Qualifying yesterday was a bit of luck too so I think we can be happy with how the weekend went and the steps we made once more. I will push even more again next weekend at my home race.

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