Sharjah: Teams from the UAE dominated as Victory Team’s Kevin Reiterer and Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashid Al Mulla took centre stage on the opening day of competition in the final round of the 2018 UIM-ABP Aquabike Class Pro Circuit World Championship being held as part of the Sharjah World Championship Week.
Reiterer and Al Mulla won both the motos held on Wednesday with the Victory Team rider within a whisker of a second world crown in the Ski Division, while the Emirati’s two wins enabled him to clinch the world title in the Freestyle category with one moto still to run.
Reiterer was simply too good, taking the full 50 points from the two races, while challenger Raphael Maurin continued to put him under pressure with two second places. “I did the best I could, but Kevin has simply been much better than the rest of us today,” Maurin told Gulf News.
“He [Kevin Reiterer] needs just one point, but I am not going to give up. There is one more moto on Friday and I will give it my all in that final race,” the Frenchman promised.
Reiterer was thrilled with the way his jet ski has remained consistent after all the mechanical issues he faced at last weekend’s Kings Cup in Pattaya City, Thailand. “In the end it has been a good battle and I am pleased to see my jet ski perform at its best. I am now on the cusp of a double — win the Grand Prix of Sharjah and take a second world title and I believe I can make this happen to cap a fantastic year for me and for the Victory Team,” the 26-year-old Austrian said.
Al Mulla’s win, meanwhile, put him among the legends of the sport as the 31-year-old Emirati now follows in the footsteps of the Florjancic brothers. Two wins in the two motos helped Al Mulla reach an unassailable lead in the overall points standings as the Emirati took his maiden world crown.
“I have been working on this programme for seven years now and I have continued to develop and improve my display. To win the World Championship is a special feeling. I am so happy for my team. Now I can enjoy the final Moto on Friday as the World Champion,” Al Mulla said.
Sweden’s Emma-Nellie Ortendahl ensured the Ski Ladies crown will go down to the wire in the third and final moto after winning the second moto on Wednesday. Estonia’s Jasmiin Ypraus was the surprise winner of Moto 1 leaving Latvia’s Krista Uzare and Jonna Borgstrom in second and third. But Ortendahl came alive in the second round to win by 14.67 seconds ahead of Ypraus and Uzare and leave everything for the final race on Friday.
In the Runabout class, Frenchman Jeremy Perez completed a perfect day taking his second win from two to extend his lead in the world championship standings. Defending champion Yousuf Al Abdul Razzaq now has everything in his hands in the final moto after finishing second.
After Thursday’s rest day, the third and final moto will be held at the Khalid Lagoon along the Buhairah Corniche from 2pm to 4pm on Friday.