The 4th round of the UIM-ABP Aquabike World Championship was held in Qingdao, China this weekend and this is the round-up of the action.
Moto 1 winner Yousef Al Abdulrazzaq (below) sealed his second Grand Prix win of the season after finishing fourth in Moto 2 at the Haier Grand Prix in Qingdao, with Hajime Isahai making history becoming the first Japanese rider to win in Runabout on the UIM-ABP tour, today’s victory on his championship debut putting him into second overall in the Grand Prix standings.
In a dramatic afternoon Marcus Jorgensen saw his championship lead evaporate when an electrical problem forced him to retire on lap 3 from third place, with Andrzej Wizniewski moving up into first place in the title race after coming home in third behind defending champion Jeremy Perez to seal the final podium slot.
For the second Moto in a row Isahai made a blistering start to lead by the end of lap 1 and this time made no mistake and held point, fending off a sustained race long challenge from Perez over 12 laps to run out the winner by 5.88s.
Isahai told Nigel Quilter:
It is very special for me to win in the UIM-ABP World Championship.
The conditions were good for me and I was just able to hold off Jeremy but he made me work very hard.
Perez’s second place was a great response by the Frenchman after breaking down in both the qualifying race and the first Moto and keeps his hopes of retaining his title very much live, moving him up to sixth in the standings, 17 points off top spot.
Abdulrazzaq was unable to make any progress from fourth at the end of lap 1, but today’s result puts the four-time champion right back into contention and into second place tied with Rashed Al Tayer on 97 points, just seven points off top spot.
Lino Araujo picked up his best Moto result on the UIM-ABP tour finishing fifth with Samuel Johansson recovering from a poor start and lying in tenth to finish fifth, just missig out on a podium but moving into fourth in the title race and tied on 93 points with Jorgensen.
Ski Division GP1 / Ski Ladies GP1
Kevin Reiterer (above) and Emma-Nellie Ortendahl both delivered another masterclass, each cruising to their third win of the weekend to make it three Grand Prix wins in succession.
Reiterer’s eighth win of the season now means he needs just one point at the final Grand Prix of the year in Sharjah to retain his title, the Victory Team rider dominating the Moto from start-to finish to win by 41.55s.
Reiterer told the Victory Team’s Asma Hinawi:
I am super happy with the results this weekend and it is all due to the efforts put in by the team led by Chris Wilkinson.
We don’t want to jump the gun and celebrate a world title just yet as we may still need another two or three points to the total before being confirmed as world champions.
I think this is best for us all as we will be able to get these points need on our home waters in Sharjah.
Everything has been as per plans this season, and even the lengthy summer break didn’t affect our performance.
We will be back in Dubai later this week where we plan to go ahead with our training schedule and attend to other team commitments.
Technically, I will need to finish in top 15 in one the motos in Sharjah.
But for the time-being we can leave that calculation for a later date.
I am extremely happy for this moment.
Despite being unable to match his second and fourth in yesterday’s Motos Daniel Svae Andersson picked up his second podium of the year by finishing in seventh, with Stian Schjetlein producing his best result of the year finishing second and pick up his first podium of the season in third.
Third place in today’s Moto went to Ulrik Berntsen, with Barnabos Szabo, Axel Courtois and Anders Keller rounding out the top six.
In Ski Ladies, Ortendahl once again pressed home her superiority and remains unbeaten in nine Motos this season, closing out the 7 laps to win by 12.68s, and now heads to Sharjah as the clear favourite for the title, leading the championship by 47 points and she said to Nigel Quilter after:
It was a good race but I was aware that Krista was there for most of the race and not letting go.
But I knew that I could step it up if I needed to.
I have been thinking about winning back the title since Sharjah last year.
Now I am close but not there yet but so determined and more focussed than ever.
Krista Uzare produced her best result of the weekend finishing in second ahead of Sofie Borgstrom and Estelle Poret, but it was Jasmiin Ypraus and Jonna Borgstrom, who finished in second and third in yesterday’s Motos, who completed the podium despite coming home in sixth and fifth.
Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashid Al Mulla tightened his grip on the world freestyle title by clinching a ninth successive Grand Prix victory to extend his championship lead over Italian Roberto Mariani to 18 points.