UIM-ABP Aquabike kicks off the season with the Grand Prix of Kuwait
Saturday, 15 February (KUWAIT CITY): Kuwait’s Yousef Al Abdulrazzaq produced a champions’ drive to win the first UIM-ABP Aquabike Grand Prix of Kuwait with a comfortable victory in today’s crucial deciding moto in Runabout GP1.
The four-time champion was lying in third place behind Marcus Jorgensen and Rashed Al Tayer going into the decider with five points to make up knowing that nothing less than victory would be enough.
He trailed yesterday’s winner Rashed Al Tayer for eight of 18 laps when the race leader suddenly stopped with and engine problem, with Abdulrazzaq taking the lead and going on unchallenged for the remainder of the race to take an historic and emotional win by 28.81s. “The title and the trophy stay home. I am so proud of everyone involved in putting on this event. We worked so hard and we’ve done it,” said Abdulrazzaq. “I knew it was going to be a hard race and Rashed would be tough to beat. He made a great start but I was able to stay with him, let him know I was there keep the pressure on and wait for my moment. But then he stopped and after that I was able to run at my own pace.”
Marcus Jorgensen was unable able to get close enough to challenge the race winner despite at one point closing the gap to five seconds in the latter stages as the two came up against a host of backmarkers. But second place was enough seal the runners-up slot in his first Grand Prix with the Sharjah Team, third place putting the defending champion Jeremy Perez on the final step of the Grand Prix podium.
Norway’s Stian Schjetlein, the points’ leader going into today’s third moto, rounded off a very strong weekend in Kuwait finishing in third to claim his maiden Ski GP1 Grand Prix title, with moto 2 winner Nacho Armillas coming home in fifth to seal the runners-up spot.
After breaking in moto 2 yesterday defending world champion Kevin Reiterer resumed normal service, coming from the back of the 16 strong line up to take his second win of the weekend by over 41 seconds and take third overall, second place going to Salman Allawadi, his best result on the UIM-ABP tour.
In the Ladies division France’s Jessica Chavanne followed up yesterday’s somewhat fortuitous win with a complete performance in moto3, hitting the front on lap 5 and then holding off Emma-Nellie Ortendahl to take her first Grand Prix title.
Despite making a mistake that cost her the lead third place for Jasmiin Ypraus secured the runners-up place, with Estelle Poret following her across the line to take third overall.
In Freestyle Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al Mulla’s extraordinary winning streak remains intact, despite coming into the event carrying a shoulder injury, the Team Abu Dhabi aerial trickster taking his 26th consecutive moto win to claim an 11th successive Grand Prix title, with Roberto Mariani second and Jaroslav Tirner in third.