Jeremy Perez has sensationally retained his UIM-ABP Aquabike Runabout GP1 world title with what seemed like an improbable victory in the closing stages of the final moto at the Grand Prix of Sharjah.
Defending champion Perez trailed the championship leader Marcus Jorgensen for 14 of 15 laps and with the chequered flag in sight for Jorgensen he suddenly slowed and came to a halt, cutting a desolate figure in the middle of the circuit as the Frenchman powered passed him to take the win and the overall Grand Prix victory.
“I am just so happy but I still can’t believe it,” Perez said. “It was the last lap and I just kept pushing. Suddenly I saw a jet ski stopped, wondered who, looked twice and realised it was number 7 I just couldn’t believe it. I am sorry for him but happy for me. I have a baby coming any day now so this is one beautiful gift for her.”
Seventeen-year-old Samuel Johansson rounded off a great first full season on the UIM-ABP tour finishing in fifth to clinch the Sharjah Grand Prix and world championship runners-up slot, with his father Johan following him across the finishing to take third overall, the first time on the UIM-ABP tour father and son have stood on the same podium.
Third place on the world championship podium was little consolation for Jorgensen after learning it was a broken battery that robbed him of the title, Alejandro Molina Miranda and Mattia Fracasso finishing second and third in the moto.