AQUA Lemoine, Poret, Balzer and Florjancic take Aquabike glory in Qatar
2012 UIM-ABP AQUABIKE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Aquabike Grand Prix of Qatar, March 1st-3rd – round 1
For immediate release
Saturday, March 3rd, 2012
AQUABIKE QATAR GRAND PRIX TITLES FOR
LEMOINE, PORET, BALZER AND FLORJANCIC
DOHA (Qatar): The French duo of Cyrille Lemoine and Jeremy Poret, Italy’s Stefania Balzer and Slovenia’s Rok Florjancic took overall category honours in the Aquabike Qatar Grand Prix in Doha Bay on Saturday afternoon.
Lemoine finished third in Saturday’s heat in Runabout F1, Poret completed the Doha win-double in Ski Division F1 and Stefania Balzer took her second career heat win in the Ski Ladies category.
In Freestyle the accolades belonged to Slovenia’s Rok Florjancic who produced a stunning performance to also complete the win-double in Doha, to take a second Grand Prix title in as many events, with his brother Nac in second place and Frenchman Romain Stampers in third overall.
After yesterday’s bitter disappointment, the second Runabout heat belonged to Franky Zapata; the Frenchman took the lead on lap two and held off a fierce race-long challenge from fellow countryman Francois Medori, Zapata eventually running out the winner by four seconds.
Medori’s runner-up spot put him into second place overall and a controlled ride and third place was enough to give the 2009 World Champion, Cyrille Lemoine, the Grand Prix title and the lead in the World Championship standings.
Italy’s Lorenzo Benaglia completed the overall podium line-up, after finishing in fourth place ahead of the top placed Qatari rider Waled Al Sharshani and France’s Didier Chabert.
In Ski F1, Jeremy Poret - France’s defending World Champion - produced another commanding performance to take his second heat win of the weekend and the Qatar Grand Prix title for the second year in a row.
In a repeat of yesterday’s heat, Poret found himself trailing in third after the start, but passed the early leader Ludo Caumont to take the lead on lap two. Poret’s only real challenge came from countryman Jean-Baptiste Botti, who kept the pressure on the champion for 10 of the 13 laps. He closed the gap to two seconds, but was unable to force the leader into a mistake, with Poret claiming the win and the title.
Third place for Ludo Caumont - his second top three finish in two days - put the Frenchman into second place overall, whilst second place for Botti and his fifth place yesterday moved him into third in the Grand Prix standings.
Behind the leading trio, Emanuele Balzer and Nachete Armilas enjoyed a race long fight for fourth spot, the Spanish rider Armillas stealing through on lap nine, with Italian Alberto Monti completing the top six in today’s heat.
The outcome of the Ski Ladies Qatar Grand Prix was all but settled on the opening lap, with favourite and defending World Champion Julie Bulteau late out onto the water for the start of the race and retiring almost immediately with a broken engine.
Italy's Stefania Balzer took full advantage of Bulteau's misfortune. She led from the start and dominated the race to run out an easy winner by nearly nine seconds, to take a second career Grand Prix title.
Slovenia’s Pija Sumer put in a second solid performance, her third place on Friday and second place in heat two giving her the runners-up slot, with Russia’s Irina Babenko finishing third ahead of a distant Marta Sorrentino and Paola Boggi.
There was some consolation for Bulteau; her win yesterday gave her third place in the Grand Prix standings.
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