Sasaki’s heroic title fight remains unrewarded with 6th in #QatarGP, Veijer 10th
These are scenes that are as heart-breaking as they are devastating, and yet Ayumu Sasaki’s performance deserves the utmost respect.
Everyone in the LIQUI MOLY Husqvarna Intact GP Moto3 team tried to prevent the world championship from being decided at the Qatar Grand Prix. First and foremost, of course, Sasaki himself, who rode the race of his life in Losail. Over 16 laps, the Japanese rider fought with everything at his disposal. As the leader at times and despite the 23-year-old having to fend off three block passes from Masia and his team-mate Adrian Fernandez, he even fought his way back from the depths of the top 10 towards the end of the race. Sasaki gave it his all, even setting the fastest race lap once again, but time ran out for him to make up enough places to prevent a title decider in Doha.
An almost highside a few corners before the end sealed his fate. History was irreversibly written. His sixth position was not enough to prevent Jaume Masia, who ultimately won the race, from being crowned the 2023 Moto3 World Champion.
Ayumu Sasaki has already achieved great things this Moto3 season and still has the chance to become the runner-up. In Valencia, he will try to put this bitter disappointment behind him and keep his head held high to clinch the vice title and the team world championship for the German racing team.
Collin Veijer, the winner from Malaysia, tried everything in his power to give his team-mate the support and help he desperately needed, but there was no mercy in the 19-strong leading group. The 18-year-old rookie already lost a few positions at the start, but quickly fought his way up to the top four, but was ultimately unable to keep up with the pace. Even though Veijer can be happy about another six championship points and seventh place in the championship, he feels for his team-mate who was finally beaten in the title fight.
The entire LIQUI MOLY Husqvarna Intact GP Moto3 team is proud of Ayumu Sasaki and, despite the overwhelming disappointment, is looking forward to the grand finale in Valencia from the 24th – 26th of November, where there will still be plenty to win and celebrate.
Ayumu Sasaki – P6 (+1.566)
It was a typical Moto3 race today. I knew that there would be a big group fighting at the front and Masia would also be there, and many others like Holgado. At the beginning of the race, I felt very comfortable, although the battle became intense but was always almost fair. However, Masia was very aggressive once or twice in turn six. But that was okay. But when his teammate came along, he closed the throttle once in the middle of the track, which led to a big gap to the leading group. Somehow, I tried to overtake him, but he immediately overtook me again. So, I had no choice but to find a moment when I could overtake him again and immediately open up a gap. I managed to do that, but I ran out of time. Although I rode my fastest laps and gave it my all on the last two laps, it wasn’t enough to catch up with the leading group. It’s a big disappointment to lose the championship in this way because I really wanted to fight with Masia until the race in Valencia.
Collin Veijer – P10 (+2.019)
It was a bad race that began with a terrible start. I couldn’t get off the line and I don’t know why. The pace was also very slow because there was so much overtaking every time. Over the whole distance, the positions changed quite often during a lap. Towards the end, I tried to attack as much as possible, but it was very difficult. Overall, the race was terrible because I never felt good until the finish line. We should put it behind us quickly and concentrate on the last race. I feel sorry for Ayumu because he was fighting like a lion to keep his title hope alive.