Victory Team’s Kevin Reiterer is off to a flying start after a dominating win in the opening round of the 2019 UIM-ABP Aquabike World Championship in Portimao.
Up against a quality field including former world champions, the 26-year-old Victory Team rider won all three motos in the Ski Division GP1 category in the first race of the 2019 season held in the Algarve.
“I am super happy with such dominant wins in all three motos,” Reiterer said from Portimao.
“I would have expected such a start to the season, simply because I have a fantastic team backing me. The crew did a fantastic job to keep my ski in prime condition and the rest was left to me,” he added.
Reiterer had been in a league of his own with some impressive rides in the two practice sessions following a 3.14 seconds advantage over Lukas Binar and then a 3.29 seconds gap from Marten Manni. Later in the afternoon, he went on to steal an amazing pole position in the very last lap of qualifying with a blazing time of 1:37.57 minutes.
Reiterer continued with his form in the opening moto on Saturday while zooming off from pole to take a healthy eight-second advantage from the rest of the field by the end of the first lap. He went on to win the race with his nearest challenger a distant 59.29 seconds off the pace.
The Victory Team rider – world champion in 2015 and 2018 – was equally dominant while stamping his class in the second and third motos to complete a superb clean sweep and put himself at the top of the leaderboard with a maximum 75 points. In second place is Daniel Svae Andersen of Norway (64 points), while Manni and Frenchman Axel Courtois are tied for third with 51 points.
Reiterer had bagged his second world title at the end of last season after the Austrian ended with a total of 170 points, well clear of French challenger and defending world champion Raphael Maurin (137 points), in Sharjah.
The Austrian had gone into the season full of confidence following a tough and grueling build-up starting off with the UAE Aquabike Championship and the first round of the UIM-ABP European Continental Championship held in Penafiel, Portugal last week.
“This is only the start of the season for all of us. I am sure many of these riders will go back to the drawing board after this race to see where and how they can improve,” Reiterer stated.
“We too will do the same and see how we can get better from here on while trying to change things that did not go right for us in Portimao. There are four more races to go and I am super happy with the way we have started this season. It is going to get tougher with each race, but I am confident we will be there to stand up to the challenges lying ahead,” he promised.
The opening round of the championship attracted a huge field of 81 riders from 28 countries producing a spectacular opening to the season on the Arade River in Portimao.