Dubai: Victory Team’s Kevin Reiterer has promised to keep his momentum going after getting his world championship title defence off to a winning start at the opening round of the 2019 UIM-ABP Aquabike World Championship in Portimao over the weekend.
Up against a quality field including a few former world champions, the 26-year-old Victory Team rider won all three motos in the Ski Division GP1 category in the first race of the 2019 season in the Algarve region of Portugal.
“I am super happy with such dominant wins in all three motos. The pressure is now on me to keep this momentum going into the next few rounds so that I can successfully defend my world crown,” Reiterer told Gulf News.
“Everything has finally fallen into place, thanks to the efforts of my crew and Victory Team. I think I had prepared myself well and now everything is paying off.”
The racing weekend on the Arade River saw Reiterer in a dominant position while topping the charts in the two practice sessions. The qualifying was an engrossing affair with Reiterer taking pole by two-hundredths of a second with the final 90 seconds left with the quickest lap of 1:37.57 minutes.
Reiterer continued with his form in the opening moto on Saturday taking an eight-second lead at the end of the opening round itself to eventually win by a huge 59.29 seconds at the end of ten laps of the race.
Crowned world champion in 2015 and 2018, the Victory Team rider had things going his way again as he clinched the second and third motos as well to open up an 11-point advantage over Norway’s Daniel Svae Andersen (64 points) and Manni and Frenchman Axel Courtois, who are both tied in third with 51 points.
“This is only the start of the season for all of us. I am sure many of these riders will go back to the drawing board after this race to see where and how they can improve,” Reiterer said.
“There are four more races to go and I am super happy with the way we have started the season. It is going to get tougher with each race, but I am confident we will be there to stand up to the challenges lying ahead,” he promised.
The opening round of the championship had attracted a huge field of 81 riders from 28 countries producing a spectacular opening to the season on the Arade River. Reiterer will next move to Olbia in Italy (June 1-2), followed by stops in China (October 18-20) and Amaravati, India (November 12-14) before the traditional finale in Sharjah (December 17-20).