Veijer storms to Moto3™ runner-up finish at speedy Italian Grand Prix

Husqvarna Motorcycles maintain its status as a central Moto3 protagonist as Collin Veijer guides his FR 250 GP to 2nd place at a warm and busy Autodromo del Mugello for round seven of ’24 MotoGP™.

The FIM World Championship set up in the unique Tuscan valley setting of Mugello for the Italian Grand Prix and the second fixture in consecutive weekends. The seventh date of the current 20-race season took place in warm and occasionally cloudy conditions with the threat of brief showers covering the three days in the region north of Florence. Mugello has nearly forty years of GP history and is one of the best-loved and most scenic venues on the calendar thanks to the swirling 15-corner layout and high speed.

Collin Veijer explored possibilities for Pole Position on Saturday and ended Q2 in 4th place: top of the second row and 0.7 from the quickest lap of Mugello. Tatsuki Suzuki was a second further back and in 15th spot but with full knowledge that the train of riders hunting the top three around the Italian layout would be high octane.

Pace-setting and position-swapping formed the bulk of the action once the GP got underway on a sunny Sunday morning. Veijer did not hesitate to implement his racecraft and physicality, but the race was halted briefly due to a crash. Unluckily for Suzuki he fell at Turn 10 for the restart but Veijer swept into contention again as six riders tussled for the new 11-lap distance. The Moto3 ‘stalk’ entered a critical phase in the last two laps when the podium runners tried to make some sort of breakaway or consolidate their slot for a slipstream attack out of the long Bucine final turn. Collin was at the rear of the posse but began a charge that resulted in two consecutive fastest laps and came within a tenth of a second of the winner.

After his third podium finish of 2024, Veijer is 3rd in the Moto3 world championship and needs just 11 points for further promotion. Suzuki is 14th and the IntactGP squad are situated 4th from 13 in the Teams list.

The Dutch Grand Prix (Collin’s home event) will bring MotoGP back to readiness but only after a three-weekend pause. The hallowed ground of the TT Circuit Assen - one of the only tracks to have been part of the original FIM world championship as the series now marks a 75th anniversary - will stage round eight at the end of June.

Collin Veijer, 2nd: “The feeling was good all race and also when I was the front. At one point I was sitting behind the group and it was a bit too easy, so I knew I had to get back ahead otherwise the leader would be gone. In the end I left it a bit too late. I caught David [Alonso] on the last lap but next time we need to disturb him a bit more! Good race though, and we’ll try again at our home GP.”

Tatsuki Suzuki, DNF: “There's not much to say about today. Just before the red flag came out, I highsided by myself. It was a pretty big one, but luckily I managed to get back to the pits in time and we were able to restart the race. I got away quite well at the second start but perhaps I wanted to overtake another rider too early and I lost the front. It's a shame, of course, because I had high expectations for Mugello and the feeling in the race was also good. As I said, it wasn't a great end to the weekend. However, we now have a three-week break, during which I will completely reset mentally and try to come back even stronger and more competitive in Assen.”

Senna Agius and Darryn Binder kicked off the Moto2 Grand Prix with high targets for qualification and to improve their chances for another top five result on Sunday. In Italy it was Binder who found the more effective flow. The South African aced Q2 on Saturday to notch the 5th best lap-time and his joint best qualification rank to sit in the middle of the second row of the grid. Senna was further back in 26th and was trying to get his markers and references at Mugello for the rookie’s first visit to the 5.2km course.

Moto2 rushed around the Autodromo for just 12 laps due to the Moto3 delay. Darryn’s grid berth helped him push the bike into the top three and with the leaders but a mistake and crash cut his race short. Senna was engaged in a scrap just outside the points and flashed past the finish line in 17th.

Senna Agius, 17th: “It was one of those weekends where I struggled for feeling with the bike. We tried a lot and I also changed my riding style to make it better: it’s true that we improved but we couldn’t match the steps that the others were making. It was a head-scratching weekend and we’ll learn from it and attack Assen.”

Darryn Binder, DNF: “We came here on Friday with the game plan to focus on riding and do as many laps as possible and from the first few I felt fast and super-competitive at this circuit. We made some small changes and the speed increased. I managed to get a really good grid position and then had a good start. I was in the group, waiting a bit, playing a bit and I’m really disappointed in myself for that crash. It was strange to happen there…maybe I was just too comfortable. Maybe I used just a bit too much brake; I need to check the data. I just wasn’t able to save it. I need to take the positives from this weekend into Assen and keep the momentum going.”


Results Moto3 Italian Grand Prix


1. David Alonso (COL) CFMOTO 21:17.796, 2. Collin Veijer (NED) Husqvarna +0.142, 3. Ryusei Yamanaka (JPN) KTM +1.253, 9. Jacob Roulstone (AUS) GASGAS +14.099, 14. Daniel Holgado (ESP) GASGAS +22.031, 15. Jose Antonio Rueda (ESP) KTM +22.091, 18. Joel Esteban (ESP) CFMOTO +22.259, DNF. Tatsuki Suzuki (JPN) Husqvarna, DNF. Xabi Zurutuza (ESP) KTM


World championship standings Moto3


1. David Alonso (COL) CFMOTO, 143 points, 2. Daniel Holgado (ESP) GASGAS, 106, 3. Collin Veijer (NED) Husqvarna, 95, 8. Jose Antonio Rueda (ESP), KTM, 45, 10. Jacob Roulstone (AUS) GASGAS, 42, 12. Joel Esteban (ESP) CFMOTO, 35, 14. Tatsuki Suzuki (JPN) Husqvarna, 31, 22. Xabi Zurutuza (ESP) KTM, 3


Results Moto2 Italian Grand Prix


1. Joe Roberts (USA) 22:24.411, 2. Manuel Gonzalez (ESP) +0.067, 3. Alonso Lopez (ESP) +0.934, 7. Celestino Vietti (ITA) KTM +2.618, 8. Izan Guevara (ESP) CFMOTO +3.349, 12. Jake Dixon (GBR) CFMOTO +10.969, 13. Deniz Öncü (TUR) KTM +11.782, 17. Senna Agius (AUS) Husqvarna +15.564, DNF. Darryn Binder (RSA) Husqvarna


World championship standings Moto2


1. Sergio Garcia (ESP), 122 points, 2. Joe Roberts (USA), 115, 3. Ai Ogura (JPN), 99, 10. Celestino Vietti (ITA) KTM, 38, 15. Jake Dixon (GBR) CFMOTO, 20, 16. Izan Guevara (ESP) CFMOTO, 18, 17. Senna Agius (AUS) Husqvarna, 16, 23. Deniz Öncü (TUR) KTM, 6, 24. Darryn Binder (RSA) Husqvarna, 5,