Thursday, 23 November, DUBAI (UAE): Difficult conditions off Dubai’s Kite Beach meant reputations counted for very little in today’s Official Qualifying for tomorrow’s first Moto at the UIM-ABP Aquabike Grand Prix of Dubai, with Carle Lampe and Katrin Nilbe taking sensational maiden Pole Positions in their respective categories Runabout GP1 and Ski GP1 Ladies and Quinten Bossche taking his second pole of the year in Ski GP1.
Ski GP1 were first out onto the water with Bossche easing into Q2 after posting the second fastest time of the opening 15 minute session and sandwiched between Mickael and Jeremy Poret.
But it was his blistering first run in Q2 with a 1:50.62s lap around the 27-pin 1.67km circuit that set the benchmark and ultimately secured the Belgian rider his second pole in his first year on the UIM-ABP tour.
Defending champion and current points’ leader Jeremy Poret left it until the closing stages before moving up two places into second spot after posting a time of 1:54.07, 3.45 seconds shy of the pole-sitter, with Kevin Reiterer’s third fastest time of 1:54.43s backing up his decision to switch to the much talked about Kawasaki Ski.
The surprise of the session was the failure of Stian Schjetlein to make it out of Q1and he will start Moto 1 down in P12.
Mickael Poret was unable to match the pace that put him at the top of the standings in Q1, ending up going fourth quickest ahead of Alberto Monti and Marvin Martinez.
Estonia’s Katrin Nilbe produced arguably the most sensational performance and biggest upset of the day and, like Bossche, grabbed the pole with a stunning opening lap in Q2, her time of 2:10.42s unmatched by any of her rivals.
Jonna Borgstrom equalled her best ever performance in qualifying going second quickest and missing out on her first pole by 3.80seconds, with Kylie Ellmers continuing her season-run of form going third quickest ahead of championship leader Estelle Poret, Krista Uzare with Marta Sorrentino rounding out the top six.
The big shock of Q2 was defending champion Emma-Nellie Ortendahl ending her day down in tenth place after an ignition problem ended her chances of taking her third pole of the year.
In Runabout GP1 New Zealander Carle Lampe completed the trio of riders to secure pole and like Bossche and Nible benefitted from being first out onto the circuit in Q2 and was able to set a time that could not be bettered, his 1:40.48s opening time giving him his first pole position on the UIM-ABP tour.
Jeremy Perez topped the time sheets in Q1 but had to settle for second best in Q2 with a time of 1:44.41s, two seconds quicker than Christophe Agostinho.
UAE rider Rashed Al Tayer produced a great performance improving from ninth quickest in the first session and then going fourth quickest in Q2 with a 1:46.57s lap to edge out James Bushell and Patrice Pellier.
The afternoon did not go well for defending champion and the current points’ leader Yousef Al Abdulrazzaq who faces a monumental task in tomorrow’s first Moto after failing to make it out of Q1 due to an overheating engine and will start down in P18.
In Freestyle the UAE’s Rashed Al Mulla marked his return to the championship with a supreme set of tricks, outpointing all his rivals in all areas and scoring 84points out of a possible 100, 19 better than Nac Florjancic in second, with Roberto Mariani in third.
[All three Motos of The UIM-ABP Aquabike Grand Prix of Dubai will be broadcast live on Dubai Sports TV and Abu Dhabi TV and streamed live on the championship’s official web site aquabike.net – Friday 24, Moto 1 - 10.00hrs, Moto 2 - 15.00hrs, Saturday 25, Moto 3 - 15.00hrs]