Team Abu Dhabi’s Shaun Torrente in action during the practice session of the Italian Grand Prix on Friday.
Team Abu Dhabi’s reigning XCAT World Champions Shaun Torrente and Faleh Al Mansoori showed that they remain the crew to beat after setting the early pace in the Italian Grand Prix on Friday.
Torrente and Mansoori in Abu Dhabi 4 were fastest in the first official practice session on Lake Maggiore in Stresa with a best lap of 2.26.175 ahead of Australians Tom Barry-Cotter and Ross Willaton in Maritimo who were second in 2.27.842.
Rashed Al Tayer and Majed Al Mansoori in Abu Dhabi 5 were fifth fastest on 2.31.398 in the first of three practice sessions leading to Saturday’s pole position race starting at 11.20am local time.
While Torrente and Mansoori (2.25.947) were edged out by the 222 Offshore combination of Giovanni Carpitella and Darren Nicholson (2.25.519) in the second practice session, they are in a confident mood for the first of the weekend’s two Grand Prix races getting under way at 5.20pm on Saturday.
Torrente, switching between the F1H20 series which he leads, last weekend’s World Endurance Championships where he was part of Team Abu Dhabi’s winning team, and the XCATS, takes everything in his stride.
“It’s a very hectic time but the order of the events is good for my style, F1 being first and obviously the most difficult and the most demanding,” he said.
“Last weekend my focus was on the endurance and this weekend all I’m thinking about is XCATS. I just switch my mind from one to the next.”
Setting the fifth fastest lap (2:30.417) in today’s second practice session, Tayer said: “My big aim ultimately is to win the world championship. But what makes Team Abu Dhabi so strong is how committed we all are to work together for the benefit of the team. We think as a team, not as individual drivers.
“Majed and I are very close, both in the boat and out of the water. We motivate each other. Our priority when we arrived in Italy was to be at a high level in all that we do, starting with testing the engine and propellers in practice to get everything right for the first race.”
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
Both Shabab Al Ahli and Sharjah did try to break the deadlock but the former were more aggressive as they created more chances in the first-half.
Novak Djokovic admitted on Sunday he will miss injured rival Roger Federer as he prepares to begin his charge for the Dubai Championships.
New Zealand quick Trent Boult declared himself “happy to be back” as he bagged three wickets to leave India struggling for survival at stumps on day three of the first Test in Wellington on Sunday.
Andre Villas-Boas had few excuses for his Marseille team on Saturday after their 14-match unbeaten run in Ligue 1 came to an end with a surprise 3-1 home defeat by off-form Nantes.