VIDEO: Victory Team’s Reiterer dominates Sky GP 1 qualifying session at Khalid Lagoon - GulfToday

VIDEO: Victory Team’s Reiterer dominates Sky GP 1 qualifying session at Khalid Lagoon


Participants in action during the qualifying session at the Khalid Lagoon in Sharjah. Kamal Kassim / Gulf Today

Defending world champion Kevin Reiterer will start moto 1 of the UIM-ABP Aquabike Grand Prix of Sharjah from pole position after setting the pace in Tuesday’s official qualifying.

Heading towards a defence of his world title, Reiterer has displayed great form this season while picking up his third GP title of the year with a perfect score in Qingdao, China.

The 26-year-old Austrian — who was signed by Victory Team to head their Aquabikes development programme — now just needs one point to be assured of a third career world crown in the Sky GP 1 category of the championship.

The Dubai-based Victory Team rider topped the timesheets in both sessions with his opening run and shaved almost four seconds off his Q1 time with the flick of a switch to post a best lap of 1:42.37s to take his third pole of the season.

Stian Schjetlein headed a trio of Norwegian riders all with the possibility of a year-end-podium but was 3.76s off the pole-sitter, Daniel Svae Andersen’s 1:46.37 putting him over a second ahead of Ulrik Berntsen.

It was not a good afternoon for Barnabas Szabo, who sits in third place in the championship standings, failing to make the 10 boat cut into Q2 and will start moto1 from P11 of the 18 rider line-up.

The free-to-attend event, which is organized by the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) in co-operation with the Sharjah International Marine Sports Club (SIMSC), is being held under the under the patronage of Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah and Chairman of the Sharjah Executive Council.

Meanwhile, defending champion Jeremy Perez threw down the gauntlet in qualifying and sent a message to those looking to take his Runabout title that he won’t give it up without a fight.

Perez, who is currently sixth in the standings, and Marcus Jorgensen, who is tied on points in fourth, traded blows and places in a gripping session, Jorgensen going quickest in Q1 with Perez hitting back in Q2, posting a blistering lap of 1:41.83s on his first run to secure pole position, 1.37s better than his rival.

Despite nursing a shoulder injury four-time champion Yousef Al Abdulrazzaq, tied in second overall in the title race, went third quickest with a best time of 1:44.21, Mattia Fracasso fourth quickest ahead of Alejandro Miranda and Samuel Johansson.

It was not the afternoon that championship leader Andrzej Wisniewski was hoping for and will start moto 1 from P10, and certainly not what Rashed Al Tayer who shares second place in the points table was after, the Team Abu Dhabi rider failing to post a competitive time in Q1 after suffereing a major fuel issue, missing the cut and will start from 25th place.

It was a dramatic qualifying session in Freestyle and more disappointment for Team Abu Dhabi with defending champion and points’ leader Rashed Al Mulla breaking his engine and failing to start his session, the win going to Sergei Chemzov with 79 points from Roberto Mariani, 73 and Jaroslav Tirner with 66.

Emma-Nellie Ortendahl completed a season qualifying grand slam with another commanding performance in Sky Ladies division, outpacing her nearest rival by 3.97s to take her fourth pole position of the year.

After sitting back in Q1, setting the fifth best time, Ortendahl was the first out in Q2 and immediately went up a couple of gears to grab the pole with a 1.51.67s lap around the 1500 metre 30-pin Khalid Lagoon circuit.

Yasmiin Ypraus jumped up in the final standings from sixth to second on her third run with a 1.55.64 to edge out the rider in front of her in the championship standings, Estelle Poret, with outgoing champion Krista Uzare fourth ahead of Jonna Borgstrom.

This 20th edition edition of Sharjah Championship Week has been witnessing wider participation and a larger public attendance--affirming the emirate’s role as a premier host for world class aqua racing competitions.

The races to be featured at the week-long event include the F1H2O World Championship, the flagship international series of single-seater inshore circuit Formula 1 powerboat racing and the UIM-ABP Aquabike World Championship, one of the fastest, most spectacular, demanding and entertaining sports on water. Aside from the races, the event will also feature free performances of water bike.

SCTDA’s hosting of the event demonstrates its long-standing commitment to cooperate with both the public and private sector in supporting the growth and development of Sharjah’s tourism segment. The move is also aimed at promoting the emirate’s tourism destinations and attracting more tourists to visit--reinforcing Sharjah’s position as an ideal destination for recreational events that create top notch experiences and adventures.

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