My 2023 | Young Veijer made a name for himself in motorcycling: “Actually, this is just my job.”

The year 2023 is ending. In the traditional year-end series, 11 athletes and one coach look back on an eventful year. Today it’s Collin Veijer.

For Veijer, 2023 was his debut in Moto3, the third road racing class in motorsport after MotoGP and Moto2. This is something special in itself. But 18-year-old Veijer has ensured a sensational first year.

He achieved his first pole position in Austria in August, his first podium finish in Thailand in October and in November he won his first Grand Prix in Malaysia, becoming the first Dutchman since 1990. The debutant finished seventh in the World Cup rankings.

You might call it a dream year, but enthusiasm is out of the question for the young Staphorster. “No, actually this isn’t a dream or anything. Actually, this is just my job. “I have no choice but to win.”


How did Veijer view his first season in Moto3 with the German Liqui Moly Husqvarna Factory team a year ago?

“My aim was to score as many points as possible and I think I achieved that,” he said matter-of-factly. “Blood pressure? No, there was not. Yes, it would be my first year at this level. But everyone has their first year, right?”

“I didn’t expect to get on the podium this year or even win the Grand Prix. But I wanted to get as many points as possible and the highest level brings the most points.”


Everything seems so simple. The young man creates a spectacle with his motorcycle, reaching speeds of up to 250 kilometers per hour, but on the phone call from Spain he looks extremely calm and his expressions are not enthusiastic at all.

Even as he goes through the milestones of his first season. What matters most to him is not his first pole position or his victory, but the TT in Assen in June, which he crossed the finish line in seventh place to great applause.

Watch Collin Veijer’s race in Assen and his reaction:

Hundreds of fans from Staphorst, known as a strictly religious place where Sunday rest is still sacred for some, traveled to Assen to admire their Collins. “My family was there and it was nice to see how much they sympathized with me. “That’s what helped me the most this season.”

Veijer eventually got on a motorcycle with his family. “The whole family competed. My father, my uncles. When I was four years old, my father put me on a motorcycle, and the motorcycle immediately came in handy. “We have continued this way until now.”

To hone his skill and gain racing hours, Veijer and his father would frequently travel to Spain and sometimes Italy from the age of eight with his father in a converted caravan that would fit his motorcycle. “The level is much higher there and to reach a high level as a driver you need to be in Spain from a young age.”

favorite color

Veijer had no idols or great role models. “No, no one. There was no poster on my wall either. I only had one room and the wall was green. Is this my favorite color? No, not even that.”

He went to school in the Netherlands between races in Spain. “I had a great childhood, but it was very different from the other kids in my class. Everyone always has a special kid in their class and in this case it was me. The boy who was always gone.”

Veijer also traveled extensively last year, racing from Argentina to Australia and Thailand to Qatar. He is looking forward to spending the Christmas season with his family in Staphorst, where he can visit his friends again.

“I haven’t seen him much this year because I’m traveling all the time and have very little time. But when I’m home for a while, like New Year’s Eve, I always look at the cottage.”

Sporty emphasis

Undoubtedly this will also be about the biggest sporting event of the year at the lodge. In November, he became the first Dutchman to win a Grand Prix in Malaysia since Hans Spaan in Czechoslovakia in 1990.

“I never expected to win this weekend. Things didn’t go well in the days before the race. “The feeling was good before the race.”

Veijer started from second place and a bloodthirsty struggle between the six drivers ensued for a long time. “There’s not always a moment when you feel like you’re going to win. “We will see where we stand in the race.”

After three contestants were eliminated, three remained. On the final lap, Veijer took the lead at the right time and crossed the finish line 0.066 seconds ahead of Japanese teammate Ayumu Sasaki.

A dream come true? Not for the humble Veijer “This is actually what you work for. “Of course it’s fun, but I hope it’s not the only Grand Prix I win.”

Watch Collin Veijer’s interview after his GP victory in November:

After the season, the young player was finally able to celebrate his victory. “I really liked Barcelona,” he says with a mischievous smile. “We chose a nice club and I definitely had a lot of fun.”


The new season for Veijer will start with the Qatar GP on March 10. His goals for his second year in Moto3 are clear: “Of course we are trying to race in the World Championship. “But if I get into the top five, I can be happy.”

He chooses not to look further. “We do this every year.” Ultimately, of course, he hopes to race in the highest class, MotoGP. “But you never know how things will turn out.”

As unrealistic as it sounds, Veijer has made a name for himself in the world of motorsport this year. So, did the first season change your life? The answer is, unsurprisingly, realistic: “I have more followers on Instagram. That’s really the only difference. I’m more known in some places, but that’s only part of it. “That doesn’t make me particularly different.”

Source: NOS