Thursday, August 3: As the dust settles on another successful and captivating UIM-ABP Aquabike European Continental Championship, we take a look back at the movers and shakers who lifted the silverware in the various racing categories after this summer’s Grand Prix of Hungary in Nyíregyháza-Levelek and the Grand Prix of Lithuania in Kupiškis.
Hungarian rider György Kasza was the class of the field in the premier Runabout GP1 class, the 10-time Hungarian champion claiming four Moto wins, one second place and a non-finish on his way to an impressive 122 points and a 14-point cushion over fellow countryman Attila Kéri. Martin Doulik of the Czech Republic won the last Moto in Lithuania and came home in third, but Estonia’s Mattias Siimann couldn’t follow up a Moto win and two thirds in Hungary with further success in Lithuania and had to settle for fourth in the title race. Martin Doulik Junior rounded off the top five, despite being absent from the second Grand Prix.
Frenchman Axel Courtois fell just three points short of a perfect 150 score in Ski Division GP1. The Clermont Ferrand resident won five of the six Motos and finished second to Oliver Koch Hansen in the second of the Lithuanian races on his way to the European title by a comfortable 33 points. Consistency paid off for Andrea Guidi and the Italian scored well in each of the Motos to finish as runner-up, 10 points clear of Marlon Tiik of Estonia, who also scored points in every Moto. A non-finish in the third of the Hungarian races proved costly for Koch-Hansen and the Dane rounded off the season in a close fourth, with Hungary’s Gabor Szabo a distant fifth.
Jessica Chavanne was the class of the Ski Ladies GP1 class and won four of her Motos and finished second to great rival Jasmiin Ypraus in the other two. Ypraus also earned four second places and the dazzling duel meant the French girl finished just six points in front of her Estonian rival after six thrilling race battles. Virginie Morlaes of France finished third on five occasions to claim third place and Portugal’s Joana Graca was fourth.
World number one Roberto Mariani was the class act in the Freestyle discipline with his spectacular flips, spins and somersaults. The Italian was deemed the top performer in each of the four Motos and finished the European season with a perfect score of 100 points. Fellow countryman Massimo Accumulo and Portugal’s Paulo Nuñes rounded off the podium places.
Guidi may have finished second in Ski Division GP1 but he bossed the Ski Division GP2 category from the very first Moto and went on to win five of the six heats to amass 147 points and win the title by 27 points. His closest challenger was Csongor Jászai, who finished second on three occasions and third twice. Marlon Tiik rounded off the podium places and Finland’s Jerry Olin and Manuel Leite of Portugal were fourth and fifth. Latvia’s Karlins Zurins missed the first of the Grand Prix in Hungary but won the last of the Lithuanian Motos on his way to sixth overall.
Jászai went one better in Ski Division GP3 and the Hungarian won all six Motos to deliver a perfect 150-point score and secure the European title by 35 points from Leite. Fellow Hungarian Csaba Süli finished third, while Portugal’s Martim Marques and Marten Tiik of Estonian rounded off the top five.
Poland’s Marcin Senda started his European campaign with three perfect Runabout GP2 scores in Hungary and added a fourth Moto win to his tally at the first heat in Lithuania. From then on, he finished second to Ricards Fukss of Latvia in heat five and then struggled at the rear of the field in the final Moto but had amassed enough points to win the European crown by 27 points. Germany’s Justin Patzner was his closest rival in second and Mindaugas Jacauskas of Lithuanian rounded off the podium places. Benjamin Boecker of Germany and Italy’s Michele Marras were fourth and fifth of the 16 racers who scored points during the season. Fukss was not present in Hungary but that win over Senda, a second place and success in the final Moto catapulted the Latvian into sixth spot.
Four Moto wins and two second places gave Pole Juliusz Roman a score of 144 points and victory in the Runabout GP4 class by 14 points. Petr Dryjak of the Czech Republic made a late charge for the title with back-to-back Moto wins in Lithuania but fourth place in Moto 1 in Kupiškis proved costly and he finished as runner-up, with Ibiza-based Spaniard Alejandro Prats Palau in third and the Estonian duo of Marek Laanisto and Karl Keskula finishing fourth and fifth of the 15 riders to score points.
Three perfect scores for Ander Hubert Lauri secured the European Ski GP3 Junior 3.3 title for the Estonian, who finished the Lithuanian event 11 points clear of runner-up Lajos Komonyi of Hungary. Dane Frederik Frandsen, Marten Tiik and Via Petrovic of Montenegro rounded off the finishers. Unchallenged, Mio Petrovic secured the European Ski GP3 Junior 3.2 title.
A dozen ladies battled it out for the Runabout Ladies GP4 title and Czech sensation Nikola Dryjakova was the class of the field. She took six Moto wins to amass a perfect score of 150 points and seal the European crown by 22 points from Annemarie Randla of Estonia. For her part, Randla finished second in the last four Motos of the campaign after a pair of thirds to start her season. Amanda Karasek of Poland held off the challenge from Marketa Hollerova and Carmen Roosmaa to snatch third place by just three points.
Half a dozen young talents pushed hard for success in the Runabout Juniors GP4 class and a second place and two wins in the three Hungarian Motos enabled Arti Molter of Estonia to win the European crown by just three points. Volodymyr Kaliuzenyi won the opening Moto and was runner-up in the other two on his way to second in the title race, while Keskula rounded off the podium places. Fellow Estonian Katarina Sepp, Grantas Gurkšnys and Mercedesz Cseke were the other entrants.
Three perfect scores enabled Latvia’s Daniils Potrivailo to see off local racer Mindaugas Skarbalius and seal European success in the Ski Division GP4 class in Kupiškis.