Abu Dhabi team’s Mulla gets off to a flying start at the Sardegna Region Grand Prix
Rashid Al Mulla has a chance to set a record that could prove invincible.
Gulf today, Journalist
Rashid Al Mulla of the Abu Dhabi squad looked unbeatable as he launched his bid for a fourth consecutive aquabike world title at the Sardegna Region Grand Prix of Italy.
Mulla started the defense of his freestyle world crown with a clear victory in Race 1 after dominating qualifying for the opening round of this year’s UIM-ABP Aquabike Class Pro World Championship in Olbia this weekend. .
Once again, the Emirati outscored their biggest rivals, home favorite and defending European champion Roberto Mariani, with another impressive display of skill and strength.
It was the Emirati star’s 25th consecutive victory, aiming for a 12th consecutive Grand Prix victory as the second freestyle bike culminated with three days of spectacular aquabike action in Italy.
Like Mulla, her teammate Emma-Nellie Ortendahl is aiming for a fourth consecutive world crown this season, and the reigning Ski Ladies GP1 champion looked set for a brilliant comeback victory in today’s third and final round.
But the Swedish star found himself in the water after a dramatic collision with Jasmiin Ypraus on the eighth of ten laps, as the Estonian rider desperately tried to take the lead.
Ortendahl recovered to reach the finish, with Ypraus defeating Sweden’s Jonna Borgstrom, but the end result was uncertain as Grand Prix officials studied video footage of the incident.
It was a grueling start to the season for Ortendahl, who had taken pole position at Olbia after only completing two laps due to electrical problems.
After taking second behind Borgstrom in Race 1, Ortendahl looked set for a repeat of Race 2 before further technical issues pushed her back to third as her compatriot clinched back-to-back wins.
Whatever the end result in Italy, Ortendahl will look to rekindle his world title hopes at the Grand Prix events that follow in Kuwait in November and Sharjah in December.
It was on Sharjah’s Khalid Lagoon that the Swede won her third world title in December 2019, and she celebrated this feat a few hours later by signing a contract to join the Abu Dhabi team.