Rashed Al Tayer and Emma-Nellie Ortendahl gave Team Abu Dhabi a brilliant start to the 2020 UIM-ABP Aquabike World Championship today with a double pole position success in the Grand Prix of Kuwait.
Three-times Ski Ladies GP1 champion Ortendahl launched her bid for a fourth world title by topping both qualifying sessions, ultimately outpacing her closest challenger, Latvia’s Krista Uzare, by 1.29 secs in the best of five-laps decider
Al Tayer matched the Swede’s performance on her Team Abu Dhabi debut with his own flying start to the season in Runabout GP1 as he looks to repeat his opening round Grand Prix victory in Portugal last season.
Fastest in Q1 by 0.69 secs from last year’s championship runner up, Denmark’s Marcus Jorgensen, the Emirati rider went on to claim pole positon when he edged out Kuwait’s four-time world champion Yousef Al Abdulrazzaq by 0.23 secs in Q2.
In Ski GP1, Victory Team’s defending champion Kevin Reiterer claimed pole position by an emphatic margin of 4.07 secs from Norway’s Ulrik Berntsen as Team Abu Dhabi’s Salman Al Awadhi qualified cautiously in 14th place.
Team Abu Dhabi’s reigning freestyle champion Rashid Al Mulla was later beginning the defence of his title less than a month after breaking his right shoulder while preparing for the start of the new season.
Pole position qualifying positions
1. Rashed Al Tayer (UAE) 1:25.38
2. Yousef Al Abdulrazzaq (KWT) 1:25.61
3. Marcus Jorgensen (Den) 1:26.07
4. Samuel Johansson (SWE) 1:29.67
5.Alejandro Molina Miranda(SPA) 1:30.33
6. Rasmus Koch Hansen (DEN) 1:30.34
7. Jeremy Perez (FRA) 1:31.06
8. Ali Allanjawi (UAE) 1:31.84
9. Lorenzo Benaglia (ITA) 2:20.02
1.Kevin Reiterer (AUT) 1:33.91
2. Barnabas Szabo (HUN) 1:37.98
3. Mickael Poret (FRA) 1:38.15
4. Nacho Armillas (SPA) 1:38.84
5. Stian Schjetlein (NOR) 1:38.95
6. Ulrik Berntsen (NOR) 1:39.30
7. Mads Koch Hansen (DEN) 1:42.04
8. Axel Courtois (FRA) 1:42.10
9. Abdulla Alhammadi (UAE) 1:42.93
10. Gabor Szabo (HUN) 1:44.61
Ski Ladies GP1
1. Emma-Nellie Ortendahl (SWE) 1:37.97
2. Krista Uzare (LAT) 1:39.26
3. Jonna Borgstrom (SWE) 1:39.40
4. Jasmiin Ypraus (EST) 1:39.52
5. Estelle Poret (FRA) 1:40.92
6. Virginie Morlaes (FRA) 1:41.16
7. Sofie Borgstrom (SWE) 1:41.60
8. Jessica Chavanne (FRA) 1:42.18
9. Lisa Caussin Battagli (MCO) 1:48.22
10. Janina Johansson (SWE) 1:51.20
Tony Lewis, is a former British print and BBC broadcast journalist with more than 40 years’ media and PR experience.