|Poret And Lemoine Star In Ski Division F1 And Runabout Heats At Aquabike Grand Prix Of Qatar|
|Friday, 02 March 2012 22:04|
Frenchman Jeremy Poret won the first of the Ski Division F1 heats by 11.15 seconds on his Zapata from the UAE-based rider Ludo Caumont. Italy’s Emanuele Balzer rounded off the podium places in third and Spaniard Nachete Armillas and France’s Jean-Baptiste Botti completed the top five. The UAE’s Hamdan Al-Qubaisi finished 11th, but fellow Emirati Fahad Al-Mansoori retired after the first lap.
Lemoine won the hotly-contested Runabout category and reached the chequered flag 40.75s clear of Italy’s Lorenzo Benaglia after 15 laps of the course. Twenty-three of the 25 entrants took part in the race and Kuwait’s Yousef Al-Abdulrazzaq finished a close third. Francoise Medori was fourth.
Khamis Al-Hosni topped the Qatari runners in sixth position, with Waled Al-Sharshani in seventh, Rashid Al-Manniai in 10th and Thamer Abu Faisal in 11th. Both Abdullah Ali and Mohammed Al-Haidus retired on laps five and four, respectively.
Rok Florjancic, from Maribor in Slovenia, was the surprise winner of the Freestyle category for artistic on-water acrobatics. The Rickter rider amassed 576 points for an impressive programme of somersaults and turns to beat Nac Florjancic by 33 points. Frenchman Romain Stampers finished third and the UAE’s Khalid Al-Qubaisi was fifth overall.
Julie Bulteau followed up her pole position victory on Thursday with victory in the first Ski Ladies World Championship heat of the new season on Friday afternoon. The French defending World Champion won the 12-lap race by 23.95s from Italy’s Stefania Balzer.
Pija Sumer finished third, Italy’s Paola Boggi completed 10 laps and was classified in fourth and Russia’s Irena Babenko withdrew after five laps and claimed 11 points for fifth position. Italian Marta Sorrentino was disqualified.
Pija Sumer upstaged Julie Bulteau in the morning’s second free practice session to snatch the fastest time in the Ski Ladies category with a quickest lap of 1m 35.91s of the Doha Bay course on her Weber-engined Hydrospace.
Portugal-based Italian Emanuele Balzer was the rider to beat in the Ski Division F1 section and was the class of the field, although only six of the 14 riders took to the water. Italy’s Alberto Monti was second and Croatia’s Slaven Ivancic was classified in third.
Qatar’s Waled Al-Sharshani was the quickest of the 16 riders who used the second free practice session in the Runabout division. Nine riders opted out of the session, but the Qatari posted the quickest lap of 1m 42.73s. Frenchman Franky Zapata was second and fellow countryman Didier Chabert was third. Rashid Al-Mannai finished fourth for the host nation and Mohammed Al-Haidus and Khamis Al-Hosni were classified in seventh and eighth.
The opening round of the World Championship is being organised by the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF), under the presidency of His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani, in collaboration with H20 Racing and under the auspices of the UIM.
2012 Aquabike Grand Prix of Qatar - timetable of events
Saturday, March 3
10.00 – 11.40 Free practice
10.00 – 10.20 Ski Ladies F1
10.25 – 10.45 Ski Division F1
10.50 – 11.10 Runabout F1
11.15 – 11.35 Runabout F1
14.00 – 16.00 World Championship races – Heat 2
14.00 – 14.30 Ski Ladies F1
14.30 – 15.00 Ski Division F1
15.30 – 16.00 Freestyle
16.10 – 16.40 Runabout F1
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