Moto3™ top six for Veijer as Husqvarna Motorcycles push hard in Portugal

Decent points and pace for LIQUI MOLY Husqvarna IntactGP at the second round of 2024 MotoGP™ as Collin Veijer logs his second top six result of the season with the FR 250 GP.

The Algarve International Circuit welcomed MotoGP for the fifth time since 2020 and almost twenty years of history for Portugal in the FIM world championship. The relatively new facility in the south of the country provided warm and dry conditions across the key days of Saturday and Sunday and after a rainy beginning on Thursday that caused the spiralling trajectory to become dirty and tricky. The 4.5km track is renowned for its technical demands and variety of corners, many with blind entries. The trip to the Algarve represents the first European stop on the 2024 schedule and saw the full paddock setup and infrastructure established.

The Husqvarna IntactGP crew watched on Friday and Saturday (Friday afternoon, as the first Moto3 session was lost to the weather and effects on the layout) as Collin Veijer rushed around the course and got his FR 250 GP in sync. The Dutchman qualified in 6th place: under half a second from Pole Position and for a spot on the second row of the starting grid for Sunday’s main dash. Tatsuki Suzuki was also seeking improvements but couldn’t quite burst through from Q1 and was a few rows further back in 20th.

The Moto3 Grand Prix ran for 19 laps and in pleasant but overcast spring weather as the grandstands and viewing spaces filled with an eclectic range of fans. Veijer made a positive start and placed his bike into the ten-rider group disputing podium places. The youngster bided his time inside the pack while keeping an eye on the leaders as Suzuki circulated in the second throng and on the edge of the top ten.

The final rush involved six protagonists going for trophies. Veijer was situated on the fringe of the podium but in the blitz to the line ranked 6th. Suzuki used his experience to make progress through the pack and rescued three points for 13th. Collin is 4th in the championship standings.

The recent cancellation of the Grand Prix of Argentina means that MotoGP now breaks for two weeks ahead of the trek to the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas for the third round of twenty-one.

Collin Veijer, 6th: “I think we had a good race. I felt quite strong and we closed some gaps. In the first sector I felt fast but in sectors three and four we struggled a bit. It’s a track that I find quite tricky…but I think we made some good decisions with the team. I think we can take this information into the next race in America and let’s see if we can do better there.”

Tatsuki Suzuki, 13th: “It was a little bit complicated starting that far back but we came into the points and worked in a positive way. This is only our second race and we know we need to start in the leading positions but it’s a target for us in the next grands prix and for our improvement.”


Darryn Binder and Senna Agius rolled the Husqvarna IntactGP motorcycles onto the Moto2™ grid in Portimao for 21 laps of action. The Australian had fared better in qualification on Saturday and was 13th on the grid: his best start slot so far in Grand Prix. Binder was two rows behind his teammate in 20th and both racers had ground to make up in the opening exchanges of the outing.

Senna looked lively as he pushed his way up to the periphery of the top ten. A Long Lap penalty for passing under a yellow flag hampered his progress in the last three laps but he still made sure of his first Grand Prix points of the season in 14th. A second behind was Darryn who made it to the line in 15th and also grabbed a world championship point. Both riders now have a base and a foundation to push on for more bounty in the meetings to come.

Husqvarna IntactGP will make the Atlantic hop in two weeks and for the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas in mid-April.

Senna Agius: “Bittersweet. My first points and the closest gap to the leader yet but could have been better. My first five laps were an improvement but I honestly did not see the yellow [flag]. I was looking through the corner and we were all bunched together. It was a bit unclear by the time I got the notification. Anyway, I pushed all I could and brought home some points. A big thanks to the team. That’s the best I’ve felt on the bike all weekend. A good step in the pace and I’ll be ready for Texas.”

Darryn Binder: “It was an interesting race and the first one where we could really understand how these new tyres work. It hasn’t been the easiest weekend and starting in that position on the grid. I might have ridden a bit too aggressive at the beginning to make up some places and it did not benefit me too well at the end. In the last couple of laps I managed to work out how to deal with the used tyre a bit better though. One point, so that’s a positive thing but we still have some work to do on the bike and to pick up my speed.”


Results Moto3 Portugal Grand Prix


1. Daniel Holgado (ESP) Red Bull GASGAS Tech3 34:09.038, 2. Jose Antonio Rueda (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +0.044, 3. Ivan Ortola (ESP) KTM +0.820, 4. David Alonso (COL) CFMOTO +2.218, 6. Collin Veijer (NED) Husqvarna IntactGP +2.263, 8. Joel Esteban (ESP) CFMOTO +5.430, 11. Jacob Roulstone (AUS) Red Bull GASGAS Tech3 +16.213, 13. Tatsuki Suzuki (JPN) Husqvarna IntactGP +20.682, 14. Vicente Perez (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +20.776


World championship standings Moto3


1. Daniel Holgado (ESP) Red Bull GASGAS Tech3, 45 points, 2. David Alonso (COL) CFMOTO, 38

3. Ivan Ortola (ESP) KTM, 23, 4. Collin Veijer (NED) Husqvarna IntactGP, 21, 5. Jose Antonio Rueda (ESP), Red Bull KTM Ajo, 20, 10. Joel Esteban (ESP) CFMOTO, 13, 11. Tatsuki Suzuki (JPN) Husqvarna IntactGP, 12, 12. Jacob Roulstone (AUS) Red Bull GASGAS Tech3, 11, 19. Vicente Perez (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo, 2


Results Moto2 Portugal Grand Prix


1. Aron Canet (ESP) 36:03.959, 2. Joe Roberts (USA) +2.059, 3. Manuel Gonzalez (ESP) +2.610

7. Celestino Vietti (ITA) Red Bull KTM Ajo +7.288, 14. Senna Agius (AUS) Husqvarna IntactGP +16.739, 15. Darryn Binder (RSA) Husqvarna IntactGP +17.945, 20. Deniz Öncü (TUR) Red Bull KTM Ajo +26.523, 22. Izan Guevara (ESP) CFMOTO +41.234


World championship standings Moto2


1. Aron Canet (ESP), 31 points, 2. Joe Roberts (USA), 29, 3. Manuel Gonzalez (ESP), 27, 9. Celestino Vietti (ITA) Red Bull KTM Ajo, 16, 17. Senna Agius (AUS) Husqvarna IntactGP, 2, 18. Darryn Binder (RSA) Husqvarna IntactGP, 1, 19. Deniz Öncü (TUR) Red Bull KTM Ajo, 1, 24. Izan Guevara (ESP) CFMOTO, 0