Team Abu Dhabi have entered the experienced Rashed Al-Tayer in the fiercely contested Runabout GP1 category on Khalid Lagoon in Sharjah this weekend.
The veteran of Class 1, XCAT and UIM F2 racing enjoys his forays into Aquabike racing and will be hoping to upset the fight for the outright championship that features the likes of Frenchman Jeremy Perez and Kuwait’s defending champion Yousef Al-Abdulrazzaq.
The pair are separated by just one point coming into the weekend’s racing.
Rashid Al-Mulla will be aiming to secure the prestigious UIM-ABP Freestyle World Championship title.
The 31-year-old Emirati has climbed to third in the world rankings as a result of his stunning performances earlier in the season in Olbia and Gallipoli.
He heads to the showdown on the Lagoon 20 points clear of the world number one Roberto Mariani, largely as a result of his more impressive display of aerial spins, flips and fountains in a display that has earned the Team Abu Dhabi stuntman praise the world over.
Al-Mulla only needs to stay ahead of Mariani to secure the championship and cap what has already been a remarkable week for Team Abu Dhabi – the team that clinched the UIM F1 H2O Teams’ and Pole Position World Championship titles in Abu Dhabi last weekend.
Competition for Al-Mulla is likely to come from Russia’s Alexander Kuramshin, Portugal’s Paulo Nunes and the ever-improving Italian Alberto Camerlengo.
The Victory Team’s Kevin Reiterer looks well-placed to regain the Ski Division GP1 title he first and last held in 2015. He has a 14-point lead over the 2018 European Champion Raphael Maurin.
Reiterer has an impressive record on Khalid Lagoon, but a breakdown in the final Moto in 2017 is a stark reminder to the Austrian that nothing can be taken for granted.
The weekend’s action gets underway with free practice and pole position qualifying on Tuesday. Moto 1 and Moto 2 take centre stage on Wednesday and further free practice and Moto 3 take place on Friday.
2018 UIM-ABP World Championship – Freestyle standings
1. Rashid Al-Mulla (UAE) 100pts
2. Roberto Mariani (ITA) 80pts
3. Alberto Camerlengo (ITA) 59pts
4. Paolo Nunes (PRT) 50pts
5. Alexander Kuramshin (RUS) 38pts
Timetable of events
Tuesday, December 11
09.30-12.30 Free practice
14.30-17.30 Pole Position
Wednesday, December 12
10.00-12.00 Moto 1
15.00-17.00 Moto 2
Friday, December 14
10.15-12.15 Free practice
14.00-16.00 Moto 3