Collin Veijer once again demonstrated his burgeoning credentials in grand prix racing by setting a fierce pace on the first day of Practice for the inaugural Indian Moto3.
The GP rookie has been one of the standout performers in recent rounds after claiming a maiden pole position in Austria and scoring top five results in the recent Spielberg and Misano races.
Now he has earmarked himself as the early favourite for success around the Buddh International Circuit as he reeled off a series of superb laps that put him top of the timesheets in the second Practice session of the day.
With lap times coming down across the board as riders approached the new-for-2023 venue with more confidence in the afternoon, Veijer was the first rider to break the 2mins barrier, a benchmark he broke on four occasions en route to a personal best of 1m 59.566secs.
He was chased closest by P1 pace setter Jaume Masia, the Leopard Racing rider the only other rider to get within striking distance of the Dutchman ahead with a 1m 59.752s.
Some six tenths back but still up in third place was Stefano Nepa, the Italian leading David Alonso - winner in three of the last four Moto3 races - who made big gains in P2 despite offs in both of the day’s sessions.
Riccardo Rossi completed the top five despite hitting the deck at Turn 1 moments after setting his best time, with Diogo Moreira, Veijer’s Husqvarna IntactGP team-mate Ayumu Sasaki, Jose Antonio Rueda, Matteo Bertelle and Deniz Oncu completing the top ten.
With this weekend’s Indian Moto3 proving pivotal in this year’s title battle after Daniel Holgado failed to score last time out at Misano, the Spaniard again endured a troubled start to a weekend down in 14th. He wasn’t the only rider struggling in P2, with Ivan Ortola crashing to leave him 22nd.
Elsewhere, Josh Whatley enjoyed his strongest Friday of the season and briefly sat on the cusp of the automatic Q2 qualifiers before being shuffled down to 18th. He was ahead of VisionTrack Honda team-mate Scott Ogden though, his fellow Brit struggling in 26th.
|2023 Indian Moto3 | Buddh International Circuit | Friday Practice Results [P1+P2] | Round 13 of 20|
|1||Collin Veijer||🇳🇱||Husqvarna IntactGP||Husqvarna||1m 59.566|
|2||Jaume Masia||🇪🇦||Leopard Racing||Honda||1m 59.752|
|3||Stefano Nepa||🇮🇹||Angeluss MTA Team||KTM||2m 00.122|
|4||David Alonso||🇨🇴||GASGAS Aspar M3||GasGas||2m 00.195|
|5||Riccardo Rossi||🇮🇹||SIC58 Squadra Corse||Honda||2m 00.328|
|6||Diogo Moreira||🇧🇷||MT Helmets - MSI||KTM||2m 00.363|
|7||Ayumu Sasaki||🇯🇵||Husqvarna IntactGP||Husqvarna||2m 00.412|
|8||Jose Antonio Rueda||🇪🇦||Red Bull KTM Ajo||KTM||2m 00.530|
|9||Matteo Bertelle||🇮🇹||Rivacold Snipers Team||Honda||2m 00.538|
|10||Deniz Oncu||🇹🇷||Red Bull KTM Ajo||KTM||2m 00.607|
|11||Joel Kelso||🇦🇺||CFMoto PruestelGP||CFMoto||2m 00.669|
|12||Romano Fenati||🇮🇹||Rivacold Snipers Team||Honda||2m 00.687|
|13||Tatsuki Suzuki||🇪🇦||Leopard Racing||Honda||2m 00.804|
|14||Daniel Holgado||🇪🇦||Red Bull KTM Tech3||KTM||2m 00.917|
|15||Taiyo Furusato||🇯🇵||Honda Team Asia||Honda||2m 00.934|
|16||Filippo Farioli||🇮🇹||Red Bull KTM Tech3||KTM||2m 01.025|
|17||David Munoz||🇪🇦||BOE Motorsports||KTM||2m 01.061|
|18||Joshua Whatley||🇬🇧||VisionTrack Racing||Honda||2m 01.068|
|19||Syarifuddin Azman||🇲🇾||MT Helmets - MSI||KTM||2m 01.386|
|20||Xavier Artigas||🇪🇦||CFMoto PruestelGP||CFMoto||2m 01.450|
|21||Kaito Toba||🇯🇵||SIC58 Squadra Corse||Honda||2m 01.451|
|22||Ivan Ortola||🇪🇦||Angeluss MTA Team||KTM||2m 01.482|
|23||David Salvador||🇪🇦||CIP Green Power||KTM||2m 01.532|
|24||Mario Suryo Aji||🇮🇩||Honda Team Asia||Honda||2m 01.571|
|25||Ryusei Yamanaka||🇯🇵||GASGAS Aspar M3||GasGas||2m 01.688|
|26||Scott Ogden||🇬🇧||VisionTrack Racing||Honda||2m 01.758|
|27||Lorenzo Fellon||🇫🇷||CIP Green Power||KTM||2m 02.754|
|28||Ana Carrasco||🇪🇦||BOE Motorsports||KTM||2m 02.818|
|29||Danial Shahril||🇲🇾||Petronas MIE M Lav Racing||Honda||2m 03.875|
|30||Kadai Yassen Ahamed||🇮🇳||Petronas MIE M Lav Racing||Honda||2m 06.082|