Victory Team’s Reiterer secures stunning last-gasp win in Italy - GulfToday

Victory Team’s Reiterer secures stunning last-gasp win in Italy


Kevin Reiterer in action during the final round of the Grand Prix of Italy in Olbia.

Victory Team’s two-time defending world champion Kevin Reiterer has vouched to keep a firm focus on defending his crown after coming through on top with an exciting finish at the end of the Grand Prix of Italy, the second round of the 2019 UIM-ABP Aquabike World Championship, in Olbia, Italy.

Reiterer’s dominance and focus was once again in front in the Ski GP1 category as he batted main challenger Quinten Bossche of Belgium in an exciting nail-biting third and final moto in Olbia to be crowned champion at the Grand Prix of Italy.

With Bossche joined by riders such as Norway’s Daniel Svae Andersen, Axel Courtois, Barnabas Szabo and Anders Keller in pursuit, the battle for top honours was between defending world champion Reiterer and Bossche. With 12 laps ahead of them, the two battled for every second before the Victory Team rider sneaked past his challenger from the blue split to win by the smallest of margins.

“There was no way I was going to give up in that third moto. I knew I had to just dig in there and wait for an opportunity to strike. Ultimately, my patience paid off and we can be mighty pleased with the way this weekend has progressed,” Reiterer told media.

“Chris (Wilkinson) has been such an awesome help and today this spirit of teamwork came to the fore as we literally came to the top from nowhere. All thanks to him and the rest of my crew and also for the faith reposed in me by the board of directors led by Huraiz Bin Huraiz. We’ve got our priorities lined up well and the summer break will definitely help us get better,” the 26-year-old Austrian added.

Reiterer had not got off to the best of starts on Saturday after challenger and pole-sitter Bossche had collided with his ski at the very beginning of Moto One. And while the Belgian rider had continued unaffected in front of the pack, Reiterer had lost precious time getting back onto his ski to slip down to 19th place. But the Victory Team rider had shown tremendous resolve while making his way through the maze to end in second place behind race winner Bossche.

In the second moto held later on Saturday, there was no stopping Reiterer as he had battled neck and neck with Bossche before overtaking his challenger from Belgium with the final two laps remaining to finish 11.70 seconds clear, while Poret came in third.

That meant that it was all down to the third moto held on Sunday. And the huge gathering was not disappointed as they got to witness one of the toughest battles on water.

The riders will now take a long break for the summer before heading into the last part of the championship in the second half of October with the Grand Prix of China followed by the last two rounds in Amaravati, India and the season-finale in Sharjah.

Meanwhile, Sharjah riders Sultan and Abdulla Alhammadi celebrated a remarkable world championship weekend, Sultan’s third place in the final Moto sealing the Ski GP2 World Championship, second place for Abdulla clinching the runners-up slot.

Third place on the championship podium went to Italy’s Andrea Guidi who finished fifth, the Moto win going to Denmark’s Andreas Thiesson who trailed Abdulla until lap 8 of 10 before making the pass and going on to take the chequered flag to win by 13.00s.

Yousef Al Abdulrazzaq completed the Olbia win double after cruising to a 72-second victory to take his first title of the year in Runabout GP1, with championship leader Rashed Al Tayer having a torrid afternoon, losing the lead on the start lap due to a technical issue, re-joining the race in last place but black-flagged a lap later for a course infringement.

In Freestyle Rashed Al Mulla’s unrelenting march continued as he secured an eighth straight Grand Prix title, scoring 89 points out of 100 to win the second Moto from Roberto Mariani and Sergey Chemezov, Niels Willems completing the podium after taking fourth.