AQUA Al-Abdulrazzaq and Poret claim pole positions in Qatar


Aquabike Grand Prix of Qatar, November 13-16 – round 3

For immediate release
Thursday, November 14th, 2013


· Qatar’s Abdullah Ali tops Qatari qualifiers in Runabout GP1
· Fastest free practice times for Poret, Jimenez and Burbayae
· Forty-five racers from 15 countries take part in Aquabike racing

DOHA (Qatar): Kuwait’s Youssef Al-Abdulrazzaq and Frenchman Mickael Poret claimed pole position in their respective Runabout GP1 and Ski Division GP1 classes at the UIM-ABP Aquabike Grand Prix of Qatar on Doha Corniche on Thursday afternoon.

Unbeaten Slovenian Rok Florjancic is expected to be the top performer in the Freestyle category when he takes to the water in his first heat on Friday afternoon. Slovenia’s Pija Sumer earned a fastest lap of 1min 58.77sec to beat Italian female rival Marta Sorrentino in the Ski Ladies GP1 class.

“It was very tricky out there with the wind,” admitted Poret, the pole sitter in Ski Division GP1. “It was bumpy out on the course and there were some big waves. This could make for very interesting races.”

Silky smooth Al-Abdulrazzaq was the class of the Runabout GP1 field and the Kuwaiti finished a staggering 6.16 seconds ahead of runner-up Cyrille Lemoine after posting a clinical single fast lap of 1min 44.28sec. Fellow Frenchman Teddy Pons finished third behind Lemoine and Italian Mattia Fracasso was fourth. Poland’s Andrzej Wisniewski qualified for Q2 on the bubble and finished fifth.

Abdullah Ali was the quickest of the Qatari runners in the Runabout GP1 class. He posted a fastest lap of 2min 04.87sec and qualified in 11th position. Mohammed Al-Haidus was second of the local riders in 12th but he also missed the 10-minute Q2 shoot-out.

The event is being organised by the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF) in conjunction with H20 Racing and the UIM and attracted 45 racers from 15 countries.

Ski Division GP1

Ten riders took part in free practice and pole position qualifying for the first of the heats on the 27-pin, 1.81km Ski Division GP1 course. Race favourites, Alberto Monti and Tiago Sousa, were joined by eight rivals in an all-European entry. Spanish rival Nacho Armillas withdrew through injury in the build-up to the Qatar races.

Frenchman Mickael Poret pipped both Sousa and Monti to the quickest lap time in the morning’s free practice session and Sumer settled into fourth and was comfortably clear of Sorrentino in the ladies’ section.

Sousa, Monti, Poret, Slaven Ivancic and Sumer reached the Q2 qualifying session, but Sumer had technical trouble and was unable to improve on her best Q1 lap of 1min 58.77sec.

Poret attacked in windy conditions and his best lap of 1min 37.28sec was sufficient to claim pole position. Sousa was a mere 1.4 seconds slower and Monti claimed third from a distant Ivancic.

Runabout GP1

Twenty-seven riders entered the Runabout GP1 class and free practice was split into two groups with only 25 riders being permitted to take part in pole position and the heats. Two of the Qatari entrants, Mubarak Al-Khelaifi and Jassim Al-Sooj, were eliminated in pre-qualifying for the first heat on the 31-pin, 2.24km Doha Bay course, where Kuwait’s Mohammed Burbayae set the quickest lap.

Kuwaiti Yousef Al-Abdulrazzaq started as the unbeaten favourite against rivals from as far afield as France, Poland, Sweden, Spain, Italy and Lebanon. The remainder of the field was made up of three other Kuwaitis, a host of Qatari riders and Mohammed Mohsin from the UAE.

The pole position was all about Al-Abdulrazzaq. He slaughtered the opposition to win Q1 by over five seconds and did the same in the 10-boat Q2 shoot-out to leave a trail of demoralised European riders in his wake.

The quickest of the free practice times came from the second group of 13 riders. Spaniard Jordi Jimenez topped the times with a lap of 1min 53.16sec, but Al-Abdulrazzaq was well down the classification and Kuwait’s Khalid Burbayae topped the timings in the first group of 14 racers. The fastest of the Qatari riders was Khamis Al-Hosni with a lap of 1min 56.23sec.


The eight Freestyle entrants performed their on-water aerobatics in front of the main grandstand. Qatar’s Mohammed Al-Bu, Abdullah Al-Langawi and Sultan Al-Kuwari joined the championship regulars, including the Slovenian Florjancic brothers, Rok and Nac. Engine damaged sidelined a disappointed Valerio Calderoni, who decided to take up a commentary role alongside veteran presenter Stephen Michael.

Friday’s action gets underway with another free practice session and the first of the World Championship heats starts on Doha Corniche at 2pm.

There will also be a thrilling spectator demonstration of parallel slalom and freestyle by the world’s leading aqua bike riders in front of the main grandstand from 19.00hrs on Friday evening. Everyone is welcome and there will be full catering facilities on-site.

Runabout GP1 – pole position results

1. Youssef Al-Abdulrazzaq (KUW) 1min 44.28sec
2. Cyrille Lemoine (FRA) 1min 50.44sec
3. Teddy Pons (FRA) 1min 53.37sec
4. Mattia Fracasso (ITA) 1min 53.71sec
5. Andrzej Wisniewski (POL) 1min 55.08sec

Ski Division GP1 – pole position results
1. Mickael Poret (FRA) 1min 37.28sec
2. Tiago Sousa (POR) 1min 38.68sec
3. Alberto Monti (ITA) 1min 42.42sec
4. Slavan Ivancic (CRO) 1min 50.56sec

Ski Ladies GP1
1. Pija Sumer (SVN) 1min 58.77sec (Q1)
2. Marta Sorrentino (ITA) 2min 03.36sec

2013 Aquabike Grand Prix of Qatar - timetable of events

Friday, November 15

10.00 – 11.10 Free practice
10.00-10.20 Ski Division GP1
10.25–10.45 Runabout GP1
10.50-11.10 Freestyle
14.00 – 15.45 World Championship – 1st heats
14.00-14.30 Ski Division GP1
14.30-15.00 Freestyle
15.15-15.45 Runabout GP1
19.00 – 21.00 Parallel Slalom Ski & Runabout and Freestyle Show


For further information:
Neil Perkins, NDP Publicity Services, Mobile: + 44 7831 123153, E-mail: ndppublicity@googlemail.com,
www.ndp-publicity.com (press releases).


Date issued: 14/11/2013

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