Abu Dhabi: Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashid Al Tayer produced a winning performance in the Grand Prix of Portugal to present himself as a serious title challenger in the 2019 UIM-ABP Aquabike World Championship.
After going close to victory in the first of two GP1 motos in Portimao, the Emirati turned on a brilliant display to win the opening round of the Slalom World Championship. Al Tayer beat France’s reigning world champion Jeremy Perez 2-0 before winning the decisive third run in the final against Sweden’s Samuel Johansson.
It was sweet revenge for Al Tayer, who had earlier lost out to Perez in the first of the weekend’s two GP1 races despite leading for 14 of the 15 laps. He eventually had to settle for second place, just 4.33 seconds behind the Frenchman.
Al Tayer said: “I made a great start and could see that I had built a good lead and eased off a bit and then suddenly towards the end he was right there with me. I tried to respond and push but I got caught out in traffic and he took advantage.”
Team Abu Dhabi’s reigning freestyle world champion Rashid Al Mulla stayed on course for a seventh successive Grand Prix victory by scoring 94 points out of 100 in the first moto to win from Italian Roberto Mariani on 80 pts. In the Ski Division GP1, Team Abu Dhabi’s Salman Al Awadi was in ninth position after two of three motos.