Victory Team’s defending two-time world champion Kevin Reiterer took his rightful place at the top of the grid at the end of qualifying at the Pole Position run in the Ski Division GP1 category at the Grand Prix of Italy – Round Two of the 2019 UIM-ABP Aquabike World Championship, here in Olbia, on Friday.
With more than 130 riders from 29 nations converging for the second round of the world championships being held at the coastal city in northeast Sardinia, Reiterer was in a world of his own as he ended in second on the time charts behind Belgium’s Quentin Bossche in the Ski Division GP1 category to be denied of his second pole position of the season. Frenchman Antoine Goethals came in third.
The 26-year-old from Austria, who was crowned a world champion at the end of December last year in his first year with Victory Team, dominated to finish the mandatory 15-minute qualifying session well clear of the chasing pack of Bossche and Goethals. Norway’s Daniel Svae Andersen was among the major casualties at the end of the first session of qualifying after finishing outside the top-10.
In the second ten-minute qualifying run it was Bossche coming up with a quick time of 1 minute, 30.92 secs leaving Reiterer in second with a time of 1:31.60, while Goethals’ time of 1:32.52 was good for third spot on the grid when the first of two motos are held on Saturday.
Reiterer was not too worried about his second position as he has got better with each race starting with his second world crown at the end of the 2018 season. “Everything has been going on well for me, and I hope we have this same luck going for us for a long time,” Reiterer stated.
“The first round in Portimao was a huge learning curve and I hope to take this confidence forward and keep on improving during this week,” he added.
Reiterer had won all three motos at the Grand Prix of Portugal earlier in May to go to the top of the overall standings with 75 points. The Victory Team rider is now 11 points clear of Daniel Svae Andersen (64 points), while the duo of Marten Manni (Estonia) and Axel Courtois (France) are joint third with 51 points.
“The idea at the moment is to keep my momentum going. I don’t need any distraction at this stage as I feel it’s important to do my best and go into the break with a good lead,” Reiterer related.
The second round of the Slalom World Championship will take place under lights on Saturday evening followed by Motos 1 and 2 for GP1 and Motos 1 and 2 for GP2, 3 and 4. Sunday’s second practice session will be followed by the third and final Moto in all classes.
After Olbia, the riders will move on to stops in China (October 18-20) and Amaravati, India (November 12-14) before turning for the season finale in Sharjah (December 17-20) to close the season.