(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) The UIM-ABP Aquabike Grand Prix of Qatar, being organised by the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF), got underway on Doha Bay on Friday. The French trio of Cyrille Lemoine, Jeremy Poret and Jennifer Menard and Slovenian's Nac Florjancic won the first World Championship heats in the Runabout, Ski Division GP1, Ski Ladies GP1 and Freestyle categories at the UIM-ABP Aquabike Grand Prix of Qatar.
Qatar's Sultan Al-Kuwari produced one of the performances of the day in the Freestyle category to beat two of the world's finest artists to snatch third position behind world champion Nac Florjancic and his brother Rok. Kuwait's defending world champion Yousef Al-Abdulrazzaq started his first World Championship Runabout heat from pole position, but first heat honours went to Cyrille Lemoine, after the Kuwaiti was disqualified and Qatar's Mohammed Al-Haidus pushed Lemoine all the way to the chequered flag. It was a sensational performance by the Qatari in the 13-lap race and he finished just 3.16 seconds behind the multiple World Champion to claim 20 points
Italian Mattia Fracasso was third and the French duo of Teddy Pons and Jeremy Perez rounded off the top five. Qatar's Waleed Al-Sharshani finished sixth in the Runabout heat, Ahmad Al-Dawas was ninth and Hesham Bakhsh was classified in 16th overall for the host nation. Frenchman Francois Medori pulled out after three laps. Jeremy Poret headed American Chris MacClugage into action in the first of the Ski Division GP1 heats and Poret maintained his supremacy over the American in a thrilling nine-lap race
He reached the chequered flag 11.12 seconds in front of the Arizona rider to claim 25 points. Portugal's Tiago Sousa was third, Spaniard Nachete Armillas took fourth and Ludovic Caumont, running on a Qatar licence, was fifth of the 17 riders who took the start. French girl Jennifer Menard headed Estelle Poret and Marta Sorrentino into Ski Ladies GP1 action and she was never troubled. Menard completed seven laps of the Doha Bay course and finished heat one 1min 14sec in front of Sorrentino and a lap in front of Poret.
Nac and Rok Florjancic had been the class of the Freestyle field in the Pole Position session on Thursday and the Slovenian brothers didn't disappoint in the first of the heats either. Nac was again the class act with his varied display of spins, twists and turns and he cruised to the first heat win with a score of 97 points. Brother Rok was a distant second with 85.5 points and Qatar's Sultan Al-Kuwari produced a stunning performance to amass a score of 77.5 to take third from fellow QMSF entrant Bader Al-Abdullah.
Frenchman Romain Stampers and former world supremo Valerio Calderoni of Italy were down in fifth and sixth overall. Qatar's Fahad Al-Hameli and Abdullah Al-Langawi finished eighth and ninth. Qatar's Sultan Al-Kuwari had been the top local performer in the pole position and had qualified in sixth, heading six other Qatari entrants including Fahad Al-Hameli, Bader Al-Abdullah and Abdullah Al-Langawi.