Team Abu Dhabi’s Tayer clinches first Grand Prix win in Portugal
13 May 2019
Rashed Al Tayer in action during the UIM-ABP Aquabike World Championship in Portimao.
Rashed Al Tayer capped a superb double triumph for Team Abu Dhabi in the 2019 UIM-ABP Aquabike World Championship by recording his first Grand Prix victory in Portugal.
The Emirati fought off a fierce challenge from reigning Runabout GP1 world champion Jeremy Perez to win the deciding moto in dramatic style and claim overall success in this season’s opening Grand Prix in Portimao.
Adding to the celebrations for Team Abu Dhabi, Rashid Al Mulla completed a remarkable seventh Grand Prix victory in a row to launch his bid for a second successive world title.
Rashed Taher, making an impressive Team Abu Dhabi debut in the Ski Junior GP3.3 category, finished runner up to Estonia’s Ander Hubert Lauri after two second places and one third place finish in the heats.
Tayer, who had claimed his first win in the UIM-ABP World Slalom Championship less than 24 hours earlier, avenged his narrow defeat by Perez in the opening moto, leading a tense second race from start to finish and holding off the Frenchman’s late surge to win by three seconds.
Tayer went into the decider three points behind Perez and knew it was a winner take all scenario, grabbing the advantage immediately after getting past his rival at the start to lead at the end of the opening lap.
The Abu Dhabi rider looked in control and was seven seconds clear at the mid-point of the 15 lap Moto but could not completely shake off Perez, and in a repeat of Saturday’s enthralling encounter the gap between the two front runners began to shrink in the closing stages with Perez moving to within three seconds on the penultimate lap, but this time Tayer hung on to take the win.
“I made sure not to make the same mistake as yesterday and let Jeremy get back at me,” said Tayer.
“He put me under pressure in the closing laps but this time I managed to get through the back markers better and that made the difference.