CHAMPIONSHIP THRILLS AND SETBACKS FOR THE AUSSIES IN DUBAI
Friday, 24 November, DUBAI (UAE): A thrilling day of racing at the UIM-ABP Aquabike Grand Prix of Dubai saw the title race in Runabout GP1 swing one way then another, and new leaders emerge at the top of the standings in Ski GP1.
Runabout is turning into a nail biting title race with rivals Yousef Al Abulrazzaq and James Bushell trading wins, Bushell winning Moto 1 and with Abdulrazzaq breaking down moved ahead in the points’ standings. Australian James Masterton took advantage of the rough conditions with a best finish 4th in moto 1 but Supercharger woes towards the end of moto 1 and expiring completely in Moto 2 led to a DNF and no points. New Zealander Carl Lampe got a 3rd in heat 1 but again a DNF hampered the overall points haul for the hard charging Kiwi. Kylie Ellmers took a 6th in moto 1 of the Ladies Ski GP1 but a DNF in moto 2 dropped her to the bottom of the table. One more moto tommorrow will see if the Australasians can recoup some lost ground and make up some points.
Bushell hit the front on lap 3 when race leader Rashed Al Tayer was given a 10 second stop-go penalty for jumping the start and sliced through the field, lapping all but one rider.
Lars Akerblom once again proved his consistency to take second place, his best result of the year, with pole-sitter Carl Lampe coming home in third.
But Abdulrazzaq bounced back immediately with victory in the second Moto to retake top spot. It was a thrilling battle that saw Christophe Agostinho, Carle Lampe and Jeremy Perez all hold the race lead but it was Abdulrazzaq who came through hitting the front on lap 16 of 21 and win by 4.21s from Jeremy Perez. James Bushell came home in third ahead of Lars Akerblom, Agostinho and Johan Johansson.
In Ski, Quinten Bossche leapt to the top of the points table to lead the title race in his debut season on the UIM-ABP tour after finishing second in Moto 1 behind a resurgent Kevin Reiterer and then taking his third win of the season, this time leading home Reiterer.
In Moto 1 Reiterer produced the kind of form that won him the 2015 world title to take his first win of the season.
The Austrian rider passed the early race leader Jeremy Poret on lap 2 and then held off a challenge from Quinten Bossche to secure the win by 1.68seconds, with the young Estonian rider Marten Manni coming home in third.
Bossche’s second place moved him to the top of the standings, with Jeremy Poret’s race coming to a premature end on lap 4.
Stian Schjetlein made up for yesterday’s disappointing showing in qualifying to take fourth ahead of Mickael Poret with Lukas Binar in sixth.
In Moto 2 Bossche held the lead for all but one lap, ceding the place to Jeremy Poret immediately after the start lap, but regaining it a lap later and going on to win by 23.65 seconds.
Reiterer followed up his win in Moto 1 with second place after passing Jeremy Poret on lap 6, with Estonian rider Marten Manni in fourth ahead of Alberto Monti and Mickael Poret
In the Ladies division defending champion Emma-Nellie Ortendahl was back at her best, cruising to victories in both Motos to move to the top of the points table.
Katrin Nilbe enjoyed her best day on the UIM-ABP tour picking up two second places, Estelle Poret finishing third in Moto 1, Krista Uzare finishing third in Moto 2.
For full classifications: www.aquabike.net/results