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AQUA First heat wins for Lemoine and Sousa in Aquabike GP of Qatar

2013 UIM-ABP AQUABIKE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

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

For immediate release
Friday, November 15th, 2013

LEMOINE AND SOUSA CLAIM FIRST HEAT
WINS AT AQUABIKE GRAND PRIX OF QATAR

· Slovenian Florjancic brothers dominate Freestyle competition
· Qatar’s Al-Kuwari and Al-Haidus impress Doha Bay crowd

DOHA (Qatar): Frenchman Cyrille Lemoine and Portugal’s Tiago Sousa won the first heats in their respective Runabout GP1 and Ski Division GP1 classes at the UIM-ABP Aquabike Grand Prix of Qatar on Doha Corniche on Friday afternoon.

Lemoine surged into the lead in the Runabout GP1 race when pole winner and early race leader Youssef Al-Abdulrazzaq of Kuwait was sidelined with driveshaft problems. The Frenchman fended off the challenge from Italy’s Mattia Fracasso to take the chequered flag and maximum points in the 13-lap race.

Frenchman Jeremy Perez was third, Kuwait’s Mohammed Al-Baz was fourth and an excellent performance by local hero Mohammed Al-Haidus netted fifth position for the host nation.

Tiago Sousa overtook pole-winning Frenchman Mickael Poret at the start of the nine-lap Ski Division GP1 race and coasted to a comfortable 71.60-second victory. Former championship leader Alberto Monti of Italy struggled with mechanical issues and lost the final podium place to Slovenia’s leading female rider Pija Sumer. She finished as the leading lady and extended her lead over Marta Sorrentino in the Ski Ladies GP1 competition.

Slovenian brothers Nac and Rok Florjancic dominated an impressive Freestyle competition where Qatar riders, Sultan Al-Kuwari, Mohammed Al-Bu and Abdullah Al-Langawi, also delivered ambitious performances. The judges awarded the victory to Rok Florjancic and his brother Nac finished second.

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

The Ski Division GP1 riders lined up in two rows for the start of their race over 15 minutes and one extra lap of the Doha Bay course. The top eight in qualifying also entered a slalom competition, held under floodlights late on Friday evening. Headed by pole winner Mickael Poret, the first row represented France, Portugal, Italy, Slovenia and Hungary.

Sousa managed to find a way past Poret on the opening lap and he began to extend his advantage over the three-time World Champion as the race progressed. Alberto Monti initially held third position from Slaven Ivancic and Pija Sumer, but engine trouble dogged his mount on the fourth lap and the Italian began to slow and cantered around the course before retiring.

As Sousa surged into the distance to reach the chequered flag with a 71.60 second lead over Poret, Sumer disposed of Ivancic to snatch the final podium place. The Croatian was fourth and Hungary’s Josef Bohuslav and Italy’s Marta Sorrentino were fifth and sixth.

Runabout GP1

Kuwaiti Yousef Al-Abdulrazzaq headed a field of 20 riders into the first of the Runabout GP1 heats, held over 25 minutes and one extra lap of the course. The top five lined up on a staggered start with the remainder of the field filling two horizontal rows behind.

Al-Abdulrazzaq stormed into the lead and began to pull away from the pursuing Lemoine and Fracasso, but the Kuwaiti’s unbeaten record ended on the eighth lap when he was over 14 seconds in front. Driveshaft problems thwarted his progress and handed Lemoine a lead he held over Fracasso to the finish for a 9.66-second victory.

Perez was a solid third and Kuwait’s Mohammed Al-Baz and Mohammed Al-Haidus rounded off the top five.

Freestyle

Rok and Nac Florjancic started as clear favourites to win the Freestyle category and there was no denying the quality of the content in their three-minute acrobatic displays, which were marked for variety, quantity and style by a panel of waterside judges.

Six riders performed for the crowd and all three Qataris did themselves proud with Sultan Al-Kuwari, in particular, performing several deft back flips, barrel rolls and combinations. The highlight of the six displays was, perhaps, a six successive back flip sequence by Nac Florjancic that received a standing ovation from the appreciative crowd in the main grandstand.

Saturday’s action follows a similar timetable to Friday’s, with free practice taking place in the morning and the second heats to determine the Aquabike Grand Prix of Qatar winners kicking off with the Ski Division GP1 class at 2pm.

2013 UIM-ABP AQUABIKE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Runabout GP1 –heat 1 results (unofficial @ 16.30hrs)

1. Cyrille Lemoine (FRA) 13 laps
2. Mattia Fracasso (ITA) @ 9.66 sec
3. Jeremy Perez (FRA) @ 76.67 sec
4. Mohammed Al-Baz (KUW) @ 103.07 sec
5. Mohammed Al-Haidus (QAT) @ 104.88 sec
6. Jordi Tomas Jimenez (ESP) @ 109.88 sec

Ski Division GP1 –heat 1 results
1. Tiago Sousa (POR) 9 laps
2. Mickael Poret (FRA) @ 71.60 sec
3. Slavan Ivancic (CRO) @ 96.57 sec
4. Josef Bohuslav (HUN) @ 1 lap behind, etc

Ski Ladies GP1 –heat 1 results
1. Pija Sumer (SVN) 9 laps
2. Marta Sorrentino (ITA) 1 lap behind

2013 UIM-ABP AQUABIKE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Current points’ standings – after Qatar heat 1

Runabout GP1
1. Yousef Al-Abdulrazzaq (KUW) 100 pts
2. Cyrille Lemoine (FRA) 85 pts
3. Jeremy Perez (FRA) 84 pts
4. Francois Medori (FRA) 59 pts, etc

Ski Division GP1
1. Tiago Sousa (POR) 91 pts
2. Alberto Monti (ITA) 80 pts
2. Nacho Armillas (ESP) 79 pts
4. Michael Poret (FRA) 58 pts, etc

Ski Ladies GP1
1. Pija Sumer (SVN) 100 pts
2. Marta Sorrentino (ITA) 72 pts
3. Jennifer Menard (FRA) 45 pts
4. Yue Nixin (CHN) 36 pts
5. Li Qian Qian (CHN) 33 pts, etc

2013 Aquabike Grand Prix of Qatar - timetable of events

Saturday, November 16

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 – 2nd heats
14.00-14.30 Ski Division GP1
14.30-15.00 Freestyle
15.15-15.45 Runabout GP1

Ends

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

www.qmsf.org
www.aquabike.net

Date issued: 15/11/2013

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