Dubai: At least two riders from the UAE took big steps towards world titles at the Grand Prix of Qingdao in China, Round Three of the 2019 UIM-ABP Aquabike World Championship on Saturday.
Victory Team rider Kevin Reiterer won the second of three motos in the Ski GP1 category, while Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashid Al Mulla won his fifth moto on the trot in the Freestyle class to draw closer to successive world titles in Qingdao.
Riding in the Ski GP1 category, the 26-year-old Victory Team rider from Austria took off from pole position and never looked back to increase the gap from closest challenger Daniel Svae Andersen of Norway. Denmark’s Daniel Svae Andersen, who has been among the main challengers this season, came in fourth, but still managed to keep pace with overall leader Reiterer, as Denmark’s Anders Keller was placed second and Norway’s Ulrik Berntsen came in third.
Reiterer continues at the top of the overall standings with 197 points, while Andersen is in second with 134 points and Barnabas Szabo is third with 115 followed by Anders Keller (110) and Axel Courtois (106) in fourth and fifth with one more moto remaining in Qingdao on Sunday.
“Everything went as per plans, and the plans were always to keep the pressure on the rest of the field by aiming for maximum points,” Reiterer told Gulf News.
“With each win I can feel I am getting a certain independence in racing more freely. It will be another great feeling if we can wrap up with another win in the final moto on Sunday,” he added.
Al Mulla once again proved a class above the rest of the field in the Freestyle with yet another easy win to take his points tally to a maximum 125 after five motos this season. Italy’s Roberto Mariani is in second with 110 points, while Czech Republic’s Jaroslav Tirner is third with 90.
The second Team Abu Dhabi pilot Rashid Al Mulla kept himself within striking distance in the Runabout GP1 category while picking up 14 points after being placed sixth in Saturday’s moto. Marcus Jorgensen continued to lead the standings with 93 points, while Poland’s Andrzej Wisniewski is second (84) followed by Al Tayer in third with 83 points.
After Sunday’s third and final motos, the riders will start preparing for the fourth and final round of the 2019 UIM-ABP Aquabike World Championship to be held along the Buhairah Corniche in Sharjah, in the third week of December.