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Wednesday, 22 June, DENIA (Spain): Over 100 riders representing 24 countries will take to the waters off Denia on Spain’s eastern Mediterranean shoreline at this weekend’s Grand Prix of Costa Blanca, round 2 of the UIM-ABP Aquabike Class Pro World Championship.

As well as the world’s elite riders in Runabout GP1, Ski GP1 and Freestyle, Denia will also play host to the World Championship for Runabout GP2 & 3, Ski GP2 & 3 and Ski Juniors.

After round 1 in Italy the top of the points’ standings in Runabout makes interesting reading and looks rather unfamiliar, with UIM-ABP tour newcomers Marcus Jorgensen and James Bushell sitting in first and third spots, Sweden’s Johan Johansson claiming his first ever podium in second with Frenchman Christophe Agostinho fourth.

All eyes will be on Jorgensen to see if the man from Denmark can repeat his heroics of just under two weeks ago in Italy when he surprised the more established riders, winning both heats to take maximum points and claim a Grand Prix title on his maiden UIM-ABP tour outing.

Equally impressive was the debut of British ace James Bushell, qualifying in pole for heat 1 but breaking, then driving from the back of the field of 21 to finish second in heat 2 and grab the third podium slot.

Bushell showed he clearly has the pace and whilst Jorgensen admitted to riding his luck with several of the fancied runners dropping like flies in heat 1, he held off a hard charging Bushell in heat 2 to claim a deserved double win. In Denia he will no doubt face a clutch of riders all intent on making up lost ground and points.

Two riders with points to make up are defending world champion Yousef Al Abdulrazzaq from Kuwait who salvaged 16 points with a third and European champion Jeremy Perez from France, grabbing three less in fourth both breaking in heat 1. Poland’s Andrzej Wisniewski rounds out the top six and will hope to have resolved the reliability issue that saw him lose the race lead and stop in heat 2 last time out.

In Ski it is hard to pick a winner, what is guaranteed is that it will be a tantalising battle between Kevin Reiterer, Nacho Armillas, Jeremy Poret and Stian Schjetlein. All were happy with their results in the opener and lining up to Denia are separated by just two points.

Austria’s defending world champion Reiterer and Spain’s GP2 European champion Armillas share top billing on 38 points, but Reiterer has the bragging rights of the GP win and also a luxury dilemma of which bike to run, his newest SDC Trak which he feels he needs to develop further or the old bike that carried him to victory.

Three-time world champion Poret is another running in a new machine, a Bullett V2, so too is Schjetlein, a ProForce, the French and Norwegian riders both on 36 points after trading second and fourth slots in Italy.

Sitting in fifth place and the best-of-the-rest is Italy’s Alberto Monti who held the world titles in 2001 and 2005 and will line up for practice and qualifying on Thursday celebrating his 50th birthday.

If the script doesn’t change in the Ladies division the fight will be between French duo Jennifer Menard the defending world champion and Estelle Poret, but for the lower spots on the podium as it is hard to fathom where they will find the pace and performance to get close to Emma-Nellie Ortendahl.

At 17, Ortendahl from Alvangen in Sweden looks unbeatable; from GP winner and world championship runner-up last year she has upped the stakes in 2016, switching to a new ProForce and in both her European and World Championship outings this season is unbeaten.

Joining the line-up in Denia is three time world champion Julie Bulteau, making only her second appearance on the tour since ‘retiring’ from top-flight competition at the end of 2012, and Spain’s Sandra Fernandez who lifted GP titles in Ibiza in 2014 and in Qatar last season.

Looking to make up for the penalty that cost her a certain podium slot in Italy will be Portugal’s European GP2 champion Beatriz Curtinhal who won her first GP1 title at the last race of 2015 in Sharjah.

Slovenia’s Rok Florjancic continues to dominate in Freestyle and last time out added to his remarkable winning tally, topping the points in both heats to record a fifteenth GP win. But the competition is getting closer to him and as always the challenge is led by two-time GP winner his younger brother Nac and this year both have to look out for the UAE’s Rashed Al Mulla.

The start of a non-stop action packed timetable starts with practice on Thursday [23 June] at 0930hrs [local] followed by qualifying at 1600hrs.

For more information:



Fun First!
[font=arial, sans-serif]Saturday, 25 June, DENIA (Spain): Estelle and Jeremy Poret created a little piece of history today becoming the first brother and sister to climb onto the top step of the podium and win Grand Prix titles at the same event.[/font]

[font=arial, sans-serif]In Runabout GP1 defending world champion Yousef Al Abdulrazzaq simply outclassed the field off 18 to complete the Denia win double, with Freestyler Rashed Al Mulla winning his first Grand Prix and ending the Florjancic brothers four year run of collective GP wins.[/font]

[font=arial, sans-serif]For Estelle Poret the Grand Prix win in Ski that she was so desperate for after coming so close on several occasions was sealed with a comfortable second place in today’s heat after victory in heat 1 yesterday. “This was what I have wanted and waited for, for a long time. I am very happy indeed,” said the 20-year-old from Beynost in France. “My Ski was really good and when Emma went passed I knew that all I needed was to follow, not take any chances and that second would give me the overall win.”[/font]

[font=arial, sans-serif]Starting from pole position Poret led the opening lap but was passed on lap 2 by a hard charging Emma-Nellie Ortendahl, clearly looking to make up for her somewhat ragged showing yesterday. With clear water ahead she resumed normal service and raced off into the distance going on to take the chequered flag, winning by over fifty seconds and taking second place overall and maintain her lead in the championship standings.[/font]

[font=arial, sans-serif]Third place in today’s heat went to Beatrix Curtinhal after Julie Poret Bulteau was given a two lap post-race penalty for cutting the course, the decision also elevating Jennifer Menard to fourth to put her on the podium in third.[/font]

[font=arial, sans-serif]In the men’s division Jeremy Poret was pushed very hard for seven of the 10 laps by Kevin Reiterer on his way to his Denia win double to claim his eleventh Grand Prix title. The two raced line astern and were separated by just seconds for seven laps when a broken driveshaft ended Reiterer’s challenge leaving Poret comfortably clear of the chasing but distant pack and taking the win by 12 seconds. “To take my first win with my new Ski feels very good,” said Poret. “I am sorry for Kevin but I am proud of this result for me and my whole team who have worked so hard. I now lead the champion ship and that’s where I want to stay.”[/font]
[font=arial, sans-serif] [/font]

[font=arial, sans-serif]Spaniard Nacho Armillas who earlier in the day clinched the Ski GP2 world title, produced a brilliant drive from 12th place cutting his way through the field to finish second and take third overall following a two lap post-race penalty for cutting the course handed to Alberto Monti who took the chequered flag in third, with Stian Schjetlein also moving up a place and taking second overall. [/font]

[font=arial, sans-serif]In a somewhat processional second heat in Runabout GP1 Yousef Al Abdulrazzaq was the standout rider, leading from start-to-finish to claim overall victory with his second win in two days. “Today the conditions were very different. I grabbed the lead from the start and kept a good pace and was able to pull away and control the race.” said the defending champion.[/font]

[font=arial, sans-serif]Denmark’s Marcus Jorgensen made it two podiums in two Grand Prix, taking second overall with third place today after finishing second in heat 1. Britain’s James Bushell made a brilliant start from sixth to finish second and take third overall for his second podium in two outings on the UIM-ABP tour.[/font]

[font=arial, sans-serif]In Freestyle Skydive Dubai’s Rashed Al Mulla produced a second stunning performance to beat both Rok and Nac Florjancic for the second time in two days to take his first Grand Prix title, Rok turning the tables on his brother in heat 2 to take second overall.[/font]