Moto3™ podium for Husqvarna Motorcycles at Le Mans

Collin Veijer continues his bright 2024 Grand Prix campaign by tussling for the win and taking 3rd position at the French Grand Prix and round five of the world championship.

MotoGP welcomed summer air at the full and atmospheric Bugatti Circuit for the Grand Prix de France and round five of twenty-one in 2024. Hot sunshine coated the massive crowd at the sold-out famous layout for motorsport. Collin Veijer, in just his second Grand Prix season, was right at the top of the time sheets once more; earning P2 at the end of the second practice session on Saturday and headed confidently into Q2. Tatsuki Suzuki was also just a second away as the track grouped the lap-times close together.

The duo negotiated qualification through the hottest part of the weekend and Veijer held Pole Position by a slender 0.001 of a second with one minute remaining. In the final rush he ended with 5th and a decent slot on the second row. Suzuki was 4th in Q1 and rode to 14th in Q2 for the same spot on the grid.

The climate turned on Sunday as the clouds rolled in and the threat of light showers hovered. The Moto3 Grand Prix distance involved 20 laps of the Bugatti trajectory and Veijer was able to launch straight into the leading pack as Suzuki rallied to the top fourteen. Collin kept pace with Daniel Holgado, David Muñoz and David Alonso; some of his main rivals for the title. He attacked on the last lap but could not barge his way into the top two and was a solid 3rd at the line.

Tatsuki set the fastest lap of the race in the formative stages and the freight train of riders meant he was on the edge of the top ten but was circulating less than two seconds from the leader! In the second half of the distance the Japanese strived to 9th and was just a second adrift from P1: one of the closest finales ever in Moto3 at Le Mans.

Collin has consolidated 3rd in the world championship standings while Tatsuki is 11th. The team are 3rd from 13 and the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya beckons next with round six in a fortnight.

Collin Veijer, 3rd: “My start wasn’t perfect and I tried to be steady in the beginning of the race. I then tried to keep the pace and not be too crazy. The last lap was a bit difficult for me on the right side and I struggled on corner entry; maybe we have to manage the tyre better in the last laps and stand the bike up earlier. Overall, the feeling was good and happy to be back on the podium.”

Tatsuki Suzuki, 9th: “Quite happy. Unfortunately I made a huge mistake at the start which stopped me going with the leaders. It was difficult on the first five laps to gain positions but once I broke free from the second group then I was quite fast to catch the others. I was strong. Overall, a positive weekend. I still need to improve qualifying but we are coming.”


Senna Agius rode well on Saturday in Le Mans to earn one of the four slots through Q1 and into Q2 for the Moto2 Grand Prix. The Australian rookie then concentrated on registering the best possible lap-time and starting position. His quickest effort resulted in 6th place, just shy of a second from Pole: his personal best in the category to-date. Darryn Binder missed out on Q2 by a miniscule two hundredths of a second and therefore accepted 19th on the grid for the 22-lap on Sunday.

Senna had the more advanced position for the 22-lapper on Sunday. He pushed hard, reaching a lower top ten slot at one stage. Darryn was also making positive progress and by the end of the race the teammates were circulating together. Agius was able to get to the chequered flag only a tenth of a second ahead of Binder as the pair filled 13th and 14th respectively in the final standings: points for both and a sign of forward progress.

Senna Agius, 13th: “Things were going well until about halfway through but then I made a mistake and had to make a hard reset to again charge and get where I could for the last ten laps or so. We took home two points but we went the wrong way in the race. I was quite fast this weekend but was also missing something at a crucial point and we didn’t really realise that until we were into the 22-laps! I also think we took a bit of a tyre gamble that didn’t’ pay off and we need to analyse why. We’re missing some rhythm so we’ll attack Barcelona with some changes.”

Darryn Binder, 14th: “Getting better. Probably the best race so far this season. Starting 19th wasn’t ideal but I got away well, made some good passes and had semi-decent pace. We’re heading in the right direction but I just didn’t have the feeling I needed to fight for the top eleven. It was a bit of a struggle. It was the first time I used this type of tyre but we have positives to take away this weekend after we made progress with the bike at Jerez. I felt comfortable. We have to fine-tune now and find some speed. I have some of my best memories of racing in Barcelona so I’m really keen to get there.”


Results Moto3 French Grand Prix


1. David Alonso (COL) CFMOTO 34:00.058, 2. Daniel Holgado (ESP) GASGAS +0.105, 3. Collin Veijer (NED) Husqvarna IntactGP +0.242, 4. Joel Esteban (ESP) CFMOTO +0.234, 8. Jose Antonio Rueda (ESP) KTM +1.035, 9. Tatsuki Suzuki (JPN) Husqvarna IntactGP +1.101, 12. Jacob Roulstone (AUS) GASGAS +6.903, 16. Xabi Zurutuza (ESP) KTM +13.275


World championship standings Moto3


1. Daniel Holgado (ESP) KTM, 94 points, 2. David Alonso (COL) CFMOTO, 93, 3. Collin Veijer (NED) Husqvarna IntactGP, 62, 8. Joel Esteban (ESP) CFMOTO, 33, 11. Tatsuki Suzuki (JPN) Husqvarna IntactGP, 30, 12. Jose Antonio Rueda (ESP) KTM, 28, 13. Jacob Roulstone (AUS) GASGAS, 27, 22. Xabi Zurutuza (ESP) KTM, 3


Results Moto2 French Grand Prix


1. Sergio Garcia (ESP) 35:20.709, 2. Ai Ogura (JPN) +3.174, 3. Alonso Lopez (ESP) +3.704, 10. Izan Guevara (ESP) +14.215, 13. Senna Agius (AUS) Husqvarna IntactGP +18.191, 14. Darryn Binder (RSA) Husqvarna IntactGP +18.349, 17. Jake Dixon (GBR) +26.939, 18. Deniz Öncü (TUR) +30.633


World championship standings Moto2


1. Sergio Garcia (ESP), 89 points, 2. Joe Roberts (USA), 82, 3. Fermin Aldeguer (ESP), 63 , 11. Celestino Vietti (ITA), 29, 16. Izan Guevara (ESP), 10, 19. Senna Agius (AUS) Husqvarna IntactGP, 5, 20. Darryn Binder (RSA) Husqvarna IntactGP, 3, 21. Deniz Öncü (TUR), 3, 28. Jake Dixon (GBR), 0