23 March 2024

Saturday, March 23: Sweden’s Marcus Jorgensen and the French duo of Jessica Chavanne and Mickael Poret topped the leader boards in the Runabout GP1, Ski Ladies GP1 and Ski Division GP1 categories in the second free practice session for the Grand Prix of Bình Định-Vietnam in Quy Nhon on Saturday morning.


The morning’s session kick-started a hectic Saturday on Thi Nai Bay that will culminate with the Parallel Slalom and first of the Freestyle Motos late this evening.


Hungarian Gyorgy Kasza laid down the gauntlet to his Runabout GP1 rivals with an early lap of 2min 01.498sec. That was beaten with nine minutes of the session remaining by Rasmus Koch Hansen’s lap of 1min 56.671sec. Kasza broke the two-minute barrier soon after and then Marcus Jorgensen hit the front with a tour of 1min 54.631sec heading into the last five minutes.


The Swede’s time remained unchallenged to the end of a stint where nine of the 20 Runabout GP1 entrants didn’t start. Defending World Champion François Medori was sixth behind fourth-placed Spaniard Ruben Riquelme and Portugal’s Lino Araújo.


Benedicte Drange carded a lap of 1min 55.898sec near the start of the stint and stormed to the top of the Ski Ladies GP1 leader board. That time remained the target until Jasmiin Ypraus took advantage of the morning’s smoother water conditions to run a 1min 55.449sec flier on her ski nicknamed ‘Dark Horse’. It was named after a Polish wine following a discussion with esteemed American commentator Dawn Dawson… 


Defending World Champion Jessica Chavanne left it late to snatch the fastest lap of 1min 52.870sec and Drange also ran a faster lap of 1min 53.010sec to displace Ypraus and secure second. The Swedish duo of Emma-Nellie Ortendahl and Sofie Borgström rounded off the top five. Estelle Poret sat out the session.


Ypraus said: “This is a huge track and super physical. I have made some improvements to my ski since Indonesia and will have a new one for Olbia...”


Mickael Poret’s opening lap of 1min 55.762sec put the Frenchman at the top of the Ski Division GP1 standings, albeit temporarily, until Kevin Reiterer responded with a 1min 54.383sec flier. The Austrian’s time held until the last two minutes, when it was surpassed by Poret’s stunning run of 1min 48.969sec and that gave the defending World Champion the session win.


Axel Courtois came from nowhere to pip Reiterer to second place with a 1min 51.442sec run and Swiss racer Alec Enderli and Japan’s Toshi Ohara finished fourth and fifth behind Reiterer. Seven of the 21 riders, including Morgan and Jeremy Poret and Quinten Bossche, sat out the session to concentrate on preparing for pole position.