Jeremy Perez wins first Runabout GP1 title; Rashed Al-Tayer fails to start

        Reiterer wins Ski Division GP1 title; Uzare pips Ortendahl to Ski Ladies win

 

SHARJAH (UAE): Friday, December 14:  Team Abu Dhabi’s newly-crowned World Champion Rashid Al-Mulla brought down the curtain on a successful season to win Moto 3 and confirm victory in every Freestyle Moto heat during the 2018 UIM-ABP Freestyle World Championship at Sharjah’s Khalid Lagoon on Friday.

 

The 31-year-old Emirati was again in a class of his own with his unique array of style and panache and a subtle combination of somersaults, fountains, back-flips, spins and on-water acrobatics. His reward was 92 points from the panel of five judges. Second place and 63 points gave Portugal’s Paulo Nunes the runner-up spot in the final Freestyle classification. Russian stunt rider Alexander Kuramshin finished third on the day and UAE’s Ali Abdeljalil was fourth. 

 

Frenchman Jeremy Perez needed to finish fourth or higher in Moto 3 to claim a maiden Runabout GP1 and deprive Kuwait’s Yousef Al-Abdulrazzaq of a fourth successive and fifth title in total. Perez made the better start and led through the opening turns, but Al-Abdulrazzaq was not to be denied and he snatched the advantage on the turnover at the end of lap one. Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al-Tayer failed to start.

 

Al-Abdulrazzaq continued to lead into a black flag brought about by Christophe Agostini’s course violation and the leading duo held station into lap five. China’s Ronghua Wu was a close third. The Kuwaiti was not able to shake off the pursuing Perez and the pair passed the chequered flag separated by 19.39 seconds after the World Champion elect eased over the closing turns. Perez had done enough to confirm his first world title, but Wu’s mid-race retirement moved Lars Akerblom up to third place. James Bushell’s tremendous climb from outside the top 10 to as high as fourth fizzled out with technical issues with three and a half minutes of the 25 still to run. 

 

Al-Tayer had put the Moto 1 and Moto 2 disappointments firmly to the back of his mind to set the fastest lap in the morning’s Runabout practice session. The Emirati was much happier with the set-up of his bike and posted a best run of 1min 43.57sec and that was 4.81 seconds quicker than James Bushell. Title contenders Perez and Abdulrazzaq kept their powder dry for the Moto 3 showdown. 

 

In the Ski Division GP1 category, the Victory Team’s Kevin Reiterer had a 24-point advantage over 2018 European Champion Raphael Maurin heading into the final Moto of the year and the Austrian only needed to finish in the points to secure the title. 

 

He edged into a 5.31-second advantage over Maurin through the opening lap and went on to extend that to a winning margin of 32.76 seconds to clinch a second world title and a first since 2015. Belgian rider Quinten Bossche passed Maurin on lap six and wrapped up second, but Maurin finished as the runner-up in the championship and finished third in the final eight-lap Moto. 

 

Reiterer posted his intent in the morning’s practice session with a fastest tour of 1min 54.79sec during his five circuits of the race course. Estonian Marten Manni was second and Frenchman Axel Courtois came in third. 

 

Krista Uzare came into the final Ski Ladies Moto with a seven-point advantage over Sweden’s Emma-Nellie Ortendahl and the Latvian snatched the Moto 3 lead and began to pull clear of Estonian rider Jasmiin Ypraus and her Swedish rival. Jonna Borgström was a distant fourth, as Katrin Nilbe withdrew from the race.

 

A determined Ortendahl overcame a mistake on her third lap and managed to pass Ypraus on the front stretch when the Estonian dropped her bike. The Swede began to close in on the leader and trailed by 5.26 seconds heading into lap five. Uzare was able to hold off the spirited challenge to claim a 3.89-second win and a maiden world title with the Swede finishing as runner-up. Borgström passed Ypraus to take third.

 

An overwhelmed Uzare said: “It’s amazing. I was confident I would win. I was always thinking what it feels like to become a World Champion. Here we are. There are no words for it. It’s amazing. I wanted to race with the fastest girls in the world and look where I am now. Latvia, we are a small country of two million and look what we can do...”

 

Virginie Morlaes was the surprise quickest in the morning’s Ski Ladies practice session with a lap of 2min 03.83sec. She ran seven tours of the course and was 3.25 seconds quicker than Ypraus. Series leader Uzare was third. 

 

Etihad Airways is the official carrier for Team Abu Dhabi that is also supported by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council and runs under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Khalifa Al-Nahyan, advisor to the Head of State and chairman of the board of directors of the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club and under the guidance of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Sultan Bin Khalifa Al-Nahyan, Vice-President and CEO of the ADIMSC. The racing team runs under the umbrella of the ADIMSC, board member and general manager Salem Al-Remeithi.

 

Tomorrow (Saturday) is the final day of the Sharjah World Championship week and F4 and F1 drivers will carry out practice during the morning. After F4 time trials, the F4 Trophy will be decided with the second race of the weekend from 14.30hrs. The 19th Grand Prix of Sharjah roars into life at 16.00hrs.

 

2018 Grand Prix of Sharjah

Freestyle – Moto 3 

1. Rashid Al-Mulla (UAE)                        92pts

2. Paolo Nunes (PRT)                                     63pts

3. Alexander Kuramshin (RUS)                     58pts

4. Ali Abdeljali (UAE)                                    54pts

5. Alberto Camerlengo (ITA)                      42pts

6. Roberto Mariani (ITA)                                     19pts

 

2018 UIM-ABP World Championship – final Freestyle standings

1. Rashid Al-Mulla (UAE)                        175pts

2. Paolo Nunes (PRT)                                     110pts

3. Roberto Mariani (ITA)                                     100pts

4. Alexander Kuramshin (RUS)                     96pts

5. Alberto Camerlengo (ITA)                      94pts

6. Ali Abdeljali (UAE)                                    40pts

 

2018 Grand Prix of Sharjah 

Runabout GP1 – Moto 3

1. Yousef Al-Abdulrazaq (KUW)                   14 laps

2. Jeremy Perez (FRA)                                        @19.39sec

3. Lars Akerblom (SWE)                                    @49.70sec

4. Lorenzo Benaglia (ITA)                   @1min 46sec

5. Andrzej Wisniewski (POL)                     @1min 59sec

Rashid Al-Tayer (UAE)                                    DNS

 

2018 UIM-ABP World Championship – final Runabout GP1 standings

1. Jeremy Perez (FRA)                                        156pts

2. Yousef Al-Abdulrazzaq (KUW)                   150pts

3. Lars Akerblom (SWE)                                    77pts

4. Gyorgy Kasza (HUN)                                   57pts

5. Johan Johansson (SWE)                    48pts, etc

 

2018 UIM-ABP World Championship – final Ski Division GP1 standings

1. Kevin Reiterer (AUT)                                  170pts

2. Raphael Maurin (FRA)                     137pts

3. Quinten Bossche (BEL)                    91pts

4. Stian Schjetlein (NOR)                   64pts

5. Martin Manni (EST)                                        53pts, etc

 

2018 UIM-ABP World Championship – final Ski Ladies GP1 standings

1. Krista Uzare (LVA)                                    151pts

2. Emma-Nellie Ortendahl (SWE)    139pts

3. Jasmiin Ypraus (EST)                                       93pts

4. Katrin Nilbe (EST)                                      86pts

5. Jonna Borgström (SWE)                    78pts, etc