Victory 1's Mohammed Al Marri and Nadir Bin Hendi will line up for Sunday's Russian Grand Prix in Pole Position, after setting the fastest time in today's official qualifying session.
The Championship leader's went first out onto the water and produced an impressive opening lap, posting a time of 2m 24, 95s that was to prove to be too good for their rivals. 'Pole Position is what we wanted and that was always our target,' said Bin Hendi. 'It wasn't a perfect lap because there were some boats ahead of us, but we pulled out a good time and we know we can go quicker.'
The battle for the remaining places on the all important front row was a four-way fight between Jotun, Qatar 96, Victory 7 and Qatar 95, with Jotun's new partnership of Jorn Tandberg and Inge Brigt Aarbakke leaving it until their fourth and final lap in the closing minutes of the session, to move from fourth to second place, with a time of 2m 25,59s, their best time of the weekend and the teams best qualifying performance of the season. 'I am almost speechless,' said Aarbakke. 'We put in three good laps and I said to Jorn to push harder and we try for third place. But that last lap was excellent and to get ahead of both Victory 7 and Qatar 96 is fantastic.'
Third place for Qatar 96 is not what they wanted or expected, and now the team must focus on tomorrow's start. 'Having Jotun between us and Victory hasn't helped, that's for sure, but now it's all about the start in the race,' said Steve Curtis. 'We managed to improve our time on our second run but I don't think we could have beaten Victory's time. Now we have to see if we can jump them both at the start.'
Victory 7's Abdullah Al Mehairbi and Jean-Marc Sanchez completed the front row, despite a late challenge from Abdullah Al-Sulaiti and Matteo Nicolini in Qatar 95.
Victory 1's second Pole Position win of the season now moves them eight points clear of Qatar 96 in the Edox Pole Position Championship and hands them the advantage for Sunday's Russian Grand Prix, with Mohammed Al Marri and Nadir bin Hendi looking to make it three wins out of three for the Victory Team. EDOX POLE POSITION - results
1. Victory 1 - M Al Marri (UAE) / N Bin Hendi (UAE) - 02.24,95
2. Jotun 90 - I B Aarbakke (Norway) / J Tandberg (Norway) - 02.25,59
3. Qatar 96 - H Al-Thani (Qatar) / S Curtis (England) - 02.25,70
4. Victory 7 - A Al Mehairbi (UAE) / JM Sanchez (France) - 02.28,01
5. Qatar 95 - A Al-Sulaiti (Qatar) / M Nicolini (Italy) - 02.28,14
6. Qatar 9 - M Al-Nassr (Qatar) / L Nicolini (Italy) - 02.34,40
7. SeveneleveN 18 - G Manuzzi (Italy) / N Giorgi (Italy) - 02.40,78
8. Foresti & Suardi 8 - K Selmer (Norway) / G Montavoci (Italy) - 2.43,25
9. Roscioli Hotels Roma 88 - S Carrasco (Spain) / D Cirilli (Spain) - 2.44,65 EDOX POLE POSITION CHAMPIONSHIP - after round 3 of 8
1. Victory 1 - M Al Marri (UAE) / N Bin Hendi (UAE) - 55pts
2. Qatar 96 - H Al-Thani (Qatar) / S Curtis (England) - 47pts
3. Jotun 90 - I B Aarbakke (Norway) / J Tandberg (Norway) - 36pts
4. Qatar 95 - A Al-Sulaiti (Qatar) / M Nicolini (Italy) - 28pts
5. Victory 7 - A Al Mehairbi (UAE) / JM Sanchez (France) - 20pts
6. Foresti & Suardi 8 - K Selmer (Norway) / G Montavoci (Italy) - 11pts
7. SeveneleveN 18 - G Manuzzi (Italy) / N Giorgi (Italy) - 10pts
8. Negotiator 50 - B Eker (Norway) / C Parsonage (England) - 7pts
9= White 4 - M Al-Nassr (Qatar) / L Nicolini (Italy) - 5pts
9= Qatar 9 - M Al-Nassr (Qatar) / L Nicolini (Italy) -5pts
11. Roscioli Hotels Roma 88 - S Carrasco (Spain) / D Cirilli (Spain) - 2pts
For all the latest news, team and championship information visit www.class-1.com