Aquabike World Championship Rd 1: Bushell claims pole, dissapointment for Masterton

James Bushell P1 in Qualifying – Pic Credit Aquabike Official

RUNABOUT GP1 – Qualifying

Friday, 2 June, PORTO CESAREO (Italy): James Bushell survived a close shave after just managing to make the cut in Q1 and then bounced back to claim pole position for Moto 1 in Runabout GP1 for the UIM-ABP Aquabike Grand Prix of Italy.

There will be a sense of déjà vu for the British rider who claimed pole position for the season opener on his UIM-ABP tour debut this time last year and after scraping through Q1 in ninth place went onto set the fastest time in the final 10 minute qualifying session with a 1:20.98s lap.

In a somewhat bizarre final 10 minute session with several of the top ten runners from Q1 failing to get out on the water or breaking early, it was Bushell who took advantage setting the best time with just one flying lap.

Sweden’s Lars Akerblom matched his second place in Q1 in the final session, missing out on the pole by 1.73s, but narrowly finishing ahead of defending world champion Yousef Al Abdulrazzaq.

Gyorgy Kasza marked his return to the UIM-ABP tour going fourth quickest, ahead of Poland’s Andrzej Wisniewski and current world ranking number Jeremy Perez.

It was a frustrating afternoon for Marcus Jorgensen ,who after going quickest in Q1, failed to post a time, but his time set in the first session putting him in seventh spot, ahead of Christophe Agostinho, New Zealander Carl Lampe and Alessio Schintu who all suffered a similar fate.

Australian #2 James Masterton had a bad day, “Today’s qualifying didn’t go as planned, the format is an open 15 min session to throw down your fastest lap time for starting position. Lap times begin on lap 3. I blew an intercooler on lap two and couldn’t complete the session meaning I don’t make the main event for this weekend. After dropping some F-Bombs and having a whinge, I have since wiped away my tears and getting ready for round two next weekend again in Italy.”

SKI DIVISION GP1 – Qualifying

SKI GP1 pole for French rider Raphael Maurin – Pic credit Aquabike Official

Friday, 2 June, PORTO CESAREO (Italy): Ski GP1 rider Raphael Maurin produced a stunning final session to seal pole position for Moto 1 of the UIM-ABP Aquabike Grand Prix of Italy by just five-one- hundredths-of-a-second.

The French rider is enjoying a rich vein of form, winning last time out in Zadar, and stunned his UIM-ABP world tour rivals, improving from third quickest in Q1 to snatch the pole with a best lap of 1:52.78 seconds.

Norway’s Stian Schjetlein improved by over eight seconds in the second session with a time of  1:52.83s to go second quickest ahead of defending world champion Jeremy Poret.

Despite carrying a back injury, Mickael Poret managed to bring his new Kawasaki home in fourth ahead of another Kawasaki convert Quinten Bossche in a final session that saw the top five separated by just eight-tenths of a second, with Italy’s Alberto Monti claiming a top six slot.

Australian #1 Justin Windsor missed out on top 10 qualifying but was #19 ranked so will be lined up in the mains.

SKI LADIES GP1 – Qualifying

Defending world champion Emma-Nellie Ortendahl P1 in qualifying for Rd of the Aquabike World Championship – Pic credit Aquabike Official

Friday, 2 June, PORTO CESAREO (Italy): Defending world champion Emma-Nellie Ortendahl got off to the perfect start to the defence of her title that she wanted, going quickest in qualifying and will start Moto 1 of the UIM-ABP Aquabike Grand Prix of Italy in pole position.

The 18-year-old from Alvangen topped the time sheets in both sessions, securing the all-important P1 with a best lap of 2:00.18s.

It was an impressive start for the Swedish rider despite carrying an injury to her left knee that she picked up in Zadar two weeks ago at the opening round of the European Continental Championship after crashing in Ski GP1 when competing against her male peers.

France’s Estelle Poret was unable to repeat the form that put her on top of the time sheets in this morning’s practice session and had to settle for second quickest with a 2:02.30s lap to round out a good day on her new Bullett ski’s first outing on the UIM-ABP tour.

New Zealander Kylie Ellmers was another to unveil a new ski, and despite little time on the water produced a very strong showing going third quickest with a 2:06.75s lap.

Jonna Borgstrom, who grabbed the headlines after winning in Zadar, was fourth quickest ahead of the best of the newcomers, Katriin Nilbe with 17-year-old Sofie Borgstrom sixth quickest.