Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al-Tayer began his water-sporting career on aqua bikes and he is quietly confident that he can spring a surprise and snatch victory in the Runabout GP1 category.
He only ran for one lap during the two practice sessions on Tuesday morning and started the pole position qualifying late after technical issues. He moved up from 17th to ninth with a third lap of 1min 56.22sec to reach Q2 and qualified for the opening race in fourth place with a lap of 1min 48.46sec.
French championship leader Jeremy Perez eventually claimed pole position with the fastest lap of 1min 43.73sec in the Q2 session to beat Kuwait’s defending champion Yousef Al-Abdulrazzaq by 1.85 seconds in calmer water conditions.
Al-Abdulrazzaq had topped the times in Q1 with a third run of 1min 50.93sec. Emirati Mohammed Al-Mohsin was classified in 17th in Q1, although two of the 20 bikes failed to start the first 15-minute session.
I did two laps very fast and I got pole position.
I feel a lot of stress. It is not easy to be in the lead.
Sometimes it is better to be second. I need to keep my position.
It will not be easy. My mechanic Teddy Pons has helped me a lot. We have been working together for two years now. I want to win this championship for him as well.
I started from the very beginning with the jet-ski racing.
This is my sport. After that, I went to the Formula 4 and then Formula 2 and Offshore, XCAT and Class 1.
This is totally different. I hope to win the race here in Sharjah.
I don’t have the points to challenge for the championship because I lose one race from the heats.
2018 UIM-ABP World Championship
Runabout GP1 – Pole Position result (Q2):
1. Jeremy Perez (FRA) 1min 43.73sec
2. Yousef Al-Abdulrazaq (KUW) 1min 45.58sec
3. Lars Akerblom (SWE) 1min 47.89sec
4. Rashid Al-Tayer (UAE) 1min 48.46sec, etc