Veijer takes first podium with 3rd in #ThaiGP, DNF for unlucky Sasaki
It was a Moto3 thriller, which only reached its climax on the finish line after 19 laps. In the middle of the fight: Collin Veijer. The Dutchman rode a sensational race in which he made countless leading kilometres and put himself in the best possible attacking position for the final sprint. But then, on the last lap, the 18-year-old almost catapulted himself out of the race with a highside, but the rookie thwarted the catastrophe, reacted quickly and eventually turned into the last corner on the 4.5 km Chang International Circuit in fourth place. The youngster did not want to finish fourth a fourth time in a row and so, with a lot of fighting spirit, he pushed past world championship leader Jaume Masia in the last meters to finally take third position. The first Grand Prix podium for Collin Veijer – a dream come true from which it will only go forward from now on.
However, unlucky Ayumu Sasaki was unable to intervene in this thrilling race. Still stunned, but fortunately uninjured, the Japanese rider sat in his pit and could do nothing more than hope that his closest World Championship rival Masia would not make up too many points. But what had happened? On lap two, a technical defect on David Muñoz’s bike caused a rapid loss of speed, causing Sasaki to crash into the Spaniard without braking. Daniel Holgado was also involved but managed to stay seated. It is an extremely bitter pill to swallow for the 23-year-old, who has his sights so firmly set on the World Championship title. With three races remaining, Sasaki is now separated by 17 points from Jaume Masia. Now it’s time to take a breath, shake off the devastating experience, and come back stronger for the Malaysia Grand Prix from 10th – 12th of November.
Collin Veijer – P3 (+0.359)
I’m super happy, although I tried everything to win this race, in the end, the tyre was at its end. I was struggling a lot. But I think I managed it quite well to stay at the front. The whole race I tried to lead the field and stay in front so that if something happened, I would be there. On the last lap, David passed me, but I tried to catch him again in turn five. But in that situation, I almost went off with a highside, which fortunately I managed to avoid, while Denis almost overtook me, but I managed to keep my position. Then in the penultimate corner before the finish line I almost had another highside because the tyre was completely gone, I think. Going into the last corner, Masia tried to pass David on the inside, but he went wide, which was my chance, and I took it. Finally, it worked out with my first podium, I’m overjoyed to celebrate it here. A great thank you to my team.
Ayumu Sasaki – DNF
It was a very disappointing day. We were so unlucky so early in the race but it was a racing accident so there’s nothing much to say. We just need to try and come back at the next race as strong as possible. We won’t give up. We now have a 17-point gap, which is capable of closing so I will try to catch Masia again.