Malaysian Moto3: Historic first win for Veijer as title rivals battle behind

Collin Veijer rode a near perfect race to keep both teammate Ayumu Sasaki and Jaume Masia behind for a first victory in the Moto3 Malaysian Grand Prix.
Collin Veijer, Moto3 race, Malaysia MotoGP, 12 November
Collin Veijer, Moto3 race, Malaysia MotoGP, 12 November

Rookie Veijer made a great start to hit the front early on and took round eighteen with superior speed, with a result which was devisive in the Liqui Moly Husqvarna garage.

Always in the mix after his strong early pace,  two big crashes in the race meant there were only three riders in contention for the win by the last lap.

That group saw the #95 ahead and unwilling to cede to his teammates battle for the title, holding firm over the final corners with a defensive line which saw him become the first rider from the Netherlands to take victory since Hans Spaan in 1990 in the Czech GP as he picked up his maiden win.


Sasaki had been strong at turn nine through out the race and was ready to pull out his same lunge that had helped him to the front several times, as he rehearsed his winning move. The #71 pulled closer to his teammate after a succession of strong corners.

Not pushing in the same way, his words in parc ferme suggested he expected his teammate to give up the position for the sake of his title aspirations. Veijer would not be denied a first win after so many tries, so that left the Japanese rider 0.066s behind at the line.

There were no hard feelings betwwen the pair by the time they hit the post race interviews.

Masia cut a forlorn figure after the race too. His Leopard Honda seemed underpowered by comparison and the Spaniard was clearly pushing to the limit, with a different line to attempt to slipstream the duo ahead his plan to attempt a late move for the win after starting from pole.

It was not to be for the Spaniard either as he completed the podium in third.

The lead group was splintered by a late crash for the Red Bull KTM Ajo teammates. Rookie Jose Antonio Rueda experienced some slight contact with Ivan Ortola as he attempted a pass, that saw him out of control, running into the back tyre of a very unimpressed Deniz Oncu.

Jose Antonio Rueda crash, Moto3 race, Malaysia MotoGP, 12 November
Jose Antonio Rueda crash, Moto3 race, Malaysia MotoGP, 12 November

Angeluss MTA rider Ortola rode around the pair and recovered to claim fourth.

He crossed the line just ahead of BOE motorsports David Munoz in a tight run to the line from the duo.

Adrian Fernandez claimed sixth on the second Leopard, in turn just ahead of seventh placed Xavier Artigas (CFMoto PruestelGP) as they slipped back towards Joel Kelso (also CFMoto) who couldn't take advantage and finished eighth.

Huge crash claims big names

The early part of the race saw interst as David Alonso looked to make up from his earlier falls and off qualifying which left him 21st. He worked his way into the top ten before, on lap five, he highsided. 

With the race very close at this stage there was a huge amount of riders behind left nowhere to go, with his crash also taking out Daniel Holgado, Taiyo Furusato, Riccardo Rossi and Diogo Moreira.

That allowed the riders behind to gain places. Fillipo Farioli finished ninth for Red Bull KTM Tech3. Ryusei Yamanaka completed the top ten for Gaviota GasGas Aspar.

Oncu remounted for twelfth. Behind him the remaining points went to Vincente Perez in 13th, with Scott Ogden over a second ahead of his VisionTrack teammate Joshua Whatley in 14th and 15th respectively.

Crashes, injuries and replacements

In addition to the two big crashes in the race, Romano Fenati wa the first to exit. Kaito Toba also failed to see the chequered flag, while Syarifuddin Azman remounted after his late slip off to finish 20th and last in his home race.

Perez is the only replacement rider in Malaysia as he continued to fill Ana Carrasco’s seat at BOE Motorsports.

Where does that leave the championship?

Masia retains the championship lead but it is cut by four points with Sasaki finishing ahead, even though he would have preferred to have taken a nine point advantage.
Masia leads the way with 246 points with Sasaki on 225 after setting a new race lap record. DNFs for Alonso and Holgado see them remain third and fourth, now jointly a distant 41 points behind Masia.

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