Mulla, Reiterer and Ortendahl bag world titles at Sharjah Grand Prix - GulfToday

Mulla, Reiterer and Ortendahl bag world titles at Sharjah Grand Prix

Mulla, Reiterer and Ortendahl bag  world titles at Sharjah Grand Prix

Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashid Al Mulla competes during the Freestyle category of the UIM-ABP Aquabikes World Championship in Sharjah on Wednesday. Kamal Kassim / Gulf Today

Rashid Al Mulla clinched a second successive world aquabikes freestyle title, while Emma-Nellie Ortendahl and Victory Team’s Kevin Reiterer bagged Ski division crowns respectively at the season ending UIM-ABP Aquabikes World Championship held alongside Sharjah Grand Prix at the iconic Khalid Lagoon on Wednesday.

Needing only a single point to retain his title, Mulla made sure a few hours later by winning his 23rd successive moto, with the final moto of the season to follow on Friday afternoon.

The Emirati will officially be crowned on Friday night after extending his remarkable winning sequence to ten Grand Prix in the final round of the Championship.

After exhaust problems the previous day interrupted his qualifying routine, Mulla shrugged off further engine issues to win today’s first of two motos and move 25 points clear of his nearest challenger, Italy’s Roberto Mariani.

In Ski division, Austria’s Reiterer and Sweden’s Ortendahl, earlier celebrated winning their third world titles with wins in moto 1, as they both rounded out a perfect day with comfortable wins in the moto 2.

Needing just one point to clinch the title, the Austrian rider dominated the proceedings from the beginning and led from start-to-finish and turned the 10 lap moto into a victory parade, winning by 54.72s.

Stian Schjetlein finished second while third place went to fellow-Norwegian Ulrik Bernsten.

Ortendahl briefly trailed Jonna Borgstom before hitting the front on lap 2 and running out the nine laps to win by 14.67s, Estelle Poret moving up from fifth to finish in third ahead of Jessica Chavanne, with Sofie Borgstrom holding off Krista Uzare.

Ortendahl had to come from behind to take the win and keep the possibilities of an unbeaten history-making season alive.

She trailed Estonia’s Jasmiin Ypraus for seven of the 10 laps before finally finding a way passed, going on to win by 7.21s.

Ortendahl’s fellow-Swede Jonna Borgstrom finished in third to extend her advantage in second place overall in the race for the end-of-year podium, with Jessica Chavanne coming home in third ahead of Estelle Poret who maintains third spot in the overall championship standings, last year’s champion Krista Uzare in sixth.

Meanwhile, Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al Tayer, saw his hope of a first world aquabikes title effectively ended by a repeat of Tuesday’s engine problems which resulted in him starting this morning’s first Runabout GP1 moto in 25th place.

Tayer powered his way up to seventh position over the first five laps before the engine died, dropping him from joint second to sixth in the championships standings.

Another powerful surge in the second moto took him from the back of the field up to fourth with two laps remaining, but a one lap penalty for missing a buoy dropped him to 14th at the finish.

Denmark’s Marcus Jorgensen won the moto to take a six-point lead from defending champion Jeremy Perez of France after previous leader Andrzej Wisniewski of Poland was disqualified along with Kuwait’s Yousef Al Abdulrazzaq for riding in the wrong direction.

Jorgensen trailed Perez for seven laps before making the telling pass and going onto win by 12.88s, with Samuel Johansson taking a second distant third place.

The result puts Jorgensen six points ahead of Perez with Johansson a further point back heading into Friday’s title decider, Wisniewski still in with an outside chance in fourth, but 18 points adrift.

UIM-ABP Aquabikes World Championship Standings

Ski Men GP1

1. Kevin Reiterer 272 points; 2. Daniel Svae Andersen 184; Stian Schjetlein 163; 4. Barnabas Szabo 158; 5. Axel Courtois 156.

Ski Ladies GP1: 1. Emma-Nellie Ortendahl 275 points; 2. Jonna Borgstrom 220; 3. Estelle Poret 206); 4. Jasmin Ypraus 187; 5. Sofie Borgstrom 175

Runabout GP1: 1. Marcus Jorgensen 140 points; 2. Jeremy Perez 134; 3. Samuel Johansson 133; 4. Andrzej Wisniewski 122; 5. Yousuf Al Abdul Razzaq 105

Freestyle: 1. Rashid Al Mulla 200 points; 2. Roberto Mariani 170; 3. Sergey Chemezov 151; 4. Jaroslav Tirner 148; 5. Paulo Nunes (Portugal) 117

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