Sasaki takes 4th in wild #CatalanGP finish

 In Moto3, News

Moto3 lived up to its reputation in the eleventh race of the season at the Circuit de Catalunya. The hair-raising finish saw LIQUI MOLY Husqvarna Intact GP rider Ayumu Sasaki initially in fifth place. A 6-second penalty imposed after the race saw the Japanese rider advancing to fourth. Rookie Collin Veijer had to sit out the Barcelona GP due to a foot injury.

Saturday ended with bad news for the German racing team, as rookie Collin Veijer suffered fissures in three metatarsals in his left foot in his Q2 high side. In Misano next week, the young Dutchman will undergo a medical check-up on Thursday and if he gets the green light, he will try to make up for the missed race.

On race Sunday, all eyes were now on the current World Championship runner-up: Ayumu Sasaki. Starting the 18-lap race from 13th on the grid, the Japanese rider was faced with a Herculean task, as the field of riders was close together and resembled a swarm of piranhas. It took time to find the rhythm and build up the feeling for the Husqvarna machine, but with only five laps to go, the 22-year-old launched his attack, having previously hovered around tenth place. Countless overtaking maneuvers followed, with Sasaki persistently trying to counterattack while pushing further ahead. Especially the last sector of the last lap was a real challenge. Wheel to wheel, five abreast…a constellation that was David Muñoz’s undoing. His crash, caused by a collision with Deniz Öncü, ensured that Ayumu Sasaki crossed the line in fifth place, just 0.289s behind the lead. The six-second penalty imposed on the Turkish rider Öncü soon after the race meant that the LIQUI MOLY Husqvarna Intact GP rider was able to finish fourth and score 13 valuable world championship points.

With high hopes, the team now travels to Italy, where the San Marino Grand Prix in just one week’s time, from the 8th – 10th of September, will be another milestone in the battle for the Moto3 world championship, in which Ayumu Sasaki in particular has a say, as Sasaki is only 13 points behind the current world championship leader Daniel Holgado.

The whole team wishes their protégé Collin Veijer a speedy recovery and return.

Ayumu Sasaki -P4 (+0.289)

I think we did our maximum today. It was a big group of riders which made it a risky race. We managed to score points, I felt good on the bikes which is thanks to the great work of my team. They fixed the problem I had on Saturday. We had a small issue today but I managed very well during the race. Finishing P4 and by that closing the gap to P1 in the championship was very important. Considering the difficulties that we had the previous two days, we did a good job and I am happy about that. Going to Misano now we need to make sure to be faster again, hoping to be able to fight for the win again.

Collin Veijer – DNS

My condition is improving. I am feeling quite okay now and I’m in no pain, only when I’m moving, I feel like there’s something wrong. Overall, I think it’s getting better but I am very angry at myself for missing the race because of a mistake I made in Q2. I’m frustrated to have had to watch the race from the box. I try to be ready before Misano, otherwise, I’ll come back for India but I will for sure try to get fit for Misano. I’ll fly back tomorrow to go to my clinic and try to heal and recover as quickly as possible.

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