AQUA Poret, Medori and Bulteau on pole in Aquabike GP of Qatar
2012 UIM-ABP AQUABIKE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Aquabike Grand Prix of Qatar, March 1st-3rd – round 1
For immediate release
Thursday, March 1st, 2012
TOP RIDERS TAKE PART IN FIRST PRACTICE AND POLE
POSITION SESSIONS AT AQUABIKE GRAND PRIX OF QATAR
· Julie Bulteau takes pole position in Ski Ladies category
· French duo of Jeremy Poret and Francois Medori on pole
· Qatar’s Rashid Al-Mannai qualifies fifth in Runabout section
· Qatar’s Al-Sharshani and Hosni star in morning’s practice
DOHA (Qatar): Riders taking part in this weekend’s UIM-ABP Aquabike Grand Prix of Qatar had their first chance to take to the water for practice and pole position qualifying in Doha Bay on Thursday afternoon.
The opening round of the World Championship is being organised by the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF), under the presidency of His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani, in collaboration with H20 Racing and under the auspices of the UIM.
Frenchman Jeremy Poret claimed pole position in the Ski F1 category with a best lap of 1m 22.93s during his 13-lap qualifying stint. Italian Emanuele Balzer was second and the UAE’s Ludo Caumont was classified in third.
Frenchman Francois Medori takes pole position in the Runabout section into Friday’s first World Championship heats. Fellow countryman Cyrille Lemoine was second and Jeremy Perez was third. Qatar’s Rashid Al-Mannai finished fifth, with Waled Al-Sharshani in eighth, Mohammed Al-Haidus in 15th, Abdullah Ali taking 17th and Thamer Abufaisal qualifying 18th.
Predictably, Julie Bulteau, from France, claimed pole position in the Ski Ladies category with the fastest lap of 1m 29.12s. Russian newcomer Irina Babenko was second and Pija Sumer was third. Stefania Balzer finished a disappointing fifth.
In the morning’s free practice sessions, Bulteau was fastest of the ladies and the UAE’s Omar Bin Thani was the surprise quickest of the Ski F1 riders with a stunning tour of 1m 37.48s.
Qatar’s Waled Al-Sharshani and Khamis Al-Hosni were the stars of the morning’s practice in the Runabout category, both Qatari drivers emerging in front of former World Champion Cyrille Lemoine in the unofficial results. Mohammed Al-Suwaidi and Mohammed Al-Haidus were classified in ninth and 10th positions of the 20 riders who took to the water.
The Qatar Marine Sports Federation has laid on excellent facilities for spectators at this weekend’s Aquabike race and these will remain in situ for the UIM F1 H20 Qatar Grand Prix on March 9-10.
“We have two marine shops, hosted by Speed Marine and Performance Marine, five restaurants and a childrens’ area with its very own magic show,” said Mona Nasser, race and event co-ordinator at the QMSF. “This will be open from 10am through until 8pm. The spectator stand is bigger than previous years and there are also games shows for the children.”
On Friday evening between 20.00hrs and 22.00hrs, a selection of riders from each category will compete in a special show, held under lights on Doha Bay, in Parallel Slalom, F1 Ski, Runabout and Freestyle.
2012 Aquabike Grand Prix of Qatar - timetable of events
Friday, March 2
09.00 – 09.45 Drivers’ briefing
10.00 – 12.40 Free practice
10.00 – 10.20 Ski Ladies F1
10.25 – 11.45 Ski Division F1
11.50 – 12.10 Freestyle
12.15 – 12.35 Runabout F1
14.00 – 16.40 World Championship races – Heat 1
14.00 – 14.30 Ski Ladies F1
14.30 – 15.00 Ski Division F1
15.30 – 16.00 Freestyle
16.10 – 16.40 Runabout F1
20.00 – 22.00 Parallel Slalom Ski, Runabout and Freestyle
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