At the Qatar Grand Prix, an afternoon of drama and fantastic racing saw France’s Cyrille Lemoine and Italy’s Alberto Monti claim wins in the second heats of Runabout and Ski GP1, with Slovenia’s Rok Florjancic producing yet another sensational performance to take his second win of the weekend to win the Freestyle Grand Prix title and clinch the UIM-ABP World title for the first time.
Lemoine’s untroubled flag-to-finish win completed an impressive weekend for the rider from the South of France, his Doha win-double giving him the Grand Prix title and moving him into the lead in the title race, after his main rival in the fight for the Championship, Yousef Al Abdulrazzaq, was sensationally black-flagged on lap 3 for a driving infringement, compounding an already bad weekend for the Kuwaiti rider after failing to pick up points yesterday.
Italy’s Mattia Fracasso confirmed his return to form with another second place after a thrilling race-long fight to hold off Kuwait’s Mohamad Al Baz, the pair finishing second and third overall.
Monti’s first win of the season was the perfect response by the Italian after yesterday’s disappointment and keeps him very much in contention in the title race and is now just two points off the leader Tiago Sousa. But it was Portugal’s Sousa, who despite finishing third today behind Frenchman Mickael Poret, who took the Grand Prix title by one point from Poret, with Croatia’s Slaven Ivancic third overall.
Pija Sumer took the title with maximum points in the ladies category after finishing well ahead of her only rival Marta Sorrentino.
Grand Prix of Qatar - Vittorio Ubertone/ABP
Runabout’s new Championship leader grabbed control of the race from the start, leading from pole position and knowing that Abdulrazzaq would have to fight his way through the pack of riders from the back. But the Kuwaiti lasted just three laps after being shown the black flag.
By the mid-point of the 13-lap race the Frenchman was 14-seconds clear and in complete control and was able to go on to close out the win. Behind him a thrilling three-way fight developed between Mattia Fracasso, Qatar’s Mohamad Al Haidus and Kuwait’s Mohmad Al Baz, the Qatari dropping out of contention after he was passed by Jeremy Perez.
Fracasso and Al Baz carried their fight all the way to the chequered flag, the Italian edging it by just two seconds, with Perez coming home a distant fourth.
Poland’s Andrzej Wisniewski enjoyed a race long fight with Francois Medori, getting the better of the defending Champion on the final lap to take fifth.
In Ski, Tiago Sousa took full advantage of starting from pole and led his World title rivals Mickael Poret and Alberto Monti, who had moved up into third spot after stating at the back of the pack, at the end of lap one.
The Portuguese rider dominated the early laps and was 10-seconds clear when his bike started to lose power. Behind him Monti kept the pressure on Poret, forcing the Frenchman into making an uncharacteristic mistake missing a turn-mark, which proved costly and he was passed by Monti on lap 7.
Grand Prix of Qatar podium - Vittorio Ubertone/ABP
Monti immediately set his sights on the race leader, overhauling him a lap later to steal the win and get his title challenge back on course after yesterday’s DNF. There was more trouble for Championship leader Sousa who was caught and passed by Poret on the final lap.
Slaven Ivancic and Pija Sumer repeated their heat 1 duel with Ivancic turning the tables on Sumer, passing her on the penultimate lap of nine to finish in fourth. Josef Bohuslav ran a solitary race in fifth to finish ahead of Szep Attila.
The Freestyle show again belonged to Rok Florjancic who left the spectators speechless as he rounded off another 93.5 point performance with a breath taking series of 20 consecutive backflips, his remarkable agility rewarded with his first UIM-ABP World title, and he remains unbeaten in eight Grand Prix.
Nac Florjancic finished second overall despite finishing third in heat 2 behind Qatar’s Sultan al Kuwari. Runabout GP1 - heat 2 results:
1. C Lemoine (fra) 13 laps
2. M Fracasso (ita) + 4.41s
3. M Al Baz (kwt) + 7.95s
4. J Perez (fra) + 46.56s
5. A Wisniewski (pol) + 1m 19s Qatar Grand Prix - overall results:
1. C Lemoine (fra) 50pts
2. M Fracasso (ita) 40pts
3. M Al Baz (kwt) 29pts Championship points:
1. C Lemoine (fra) 110 2. Y Al Abdulrazzaq (kwt) 100 3. J Perez (fra) 97 4. F Medori (fra) 69 5. M Fracasso (ita) 48 6. J T Jimenez 47.. Ski GP1 - heat 2 results:
1. A Monti (ita) 9 laps
2. M Poret (fra) + 4.98s
3. T Sousa (prt) + 7.97s
4. S Ivancic (cro) + 1m 22s
5. J Bohuslav (svk) + 1m 44s Qatar Grand Prix - overall results:
1. T Sousa (prt) 41pts
2. M Poret (fra) 40pts
3. S Ivancic (cro) 29pts Championship points:
1. T Sousa (prt) 107 2. A Monti (ita) 105 3. N Armillas (esp) 79 4. M Poret (fra) 78 5. S Ivancic (cro) 63 6. J Bohuslav (svk) 52… Ski GP1 Ladies - heat 2 results
1. P Sumer (svn) 9 laps
2. M Sorrentino (ita) + 1 lap Qatar Grand Prix - overall results:
1. P Sumer (svn) 50 pts
2. M Sorrentino (ita) 40 pts Championship points:
1. P Sumer (svn) 125 2. M Sorrentino (ita) 92 3. J Menard (fra) 45 4. Yue Nixin (chn) 36 5. Li Qian Qian (chn) 33 Freestyle - Qatar Grand Prix – overall results:
1. R Florjancic (svn) 50 pts
2. N Florjancic (svn) 36 pts
3. S Al Kuwari (qat) 33 pts Qatar Grand Prix - overall results:
1. R Florjancic (svn) 200 2. N Florjancic (svn) 149 3. A Petrovic (srb) 112 4. V Calderoni (ita) 68 5. A Kuramshin (rus) 23 6= R Mykhailov (ukr) 21 6= R Mariani (ita) 21 Aquabike website