By Sports Reporter/Doha
The opening round of the Qatar International Endurocross kicked off yesterday at Sealine with the participation of 56 riders divided into the different categories of E1, E2, Veterans and Quads.
In the E1 category, the overall winner was the Kuwaiti rider Mohammed Jaffar, who finished last season as runner up in the E2 category and this year he shifted to the E1 category. “It was a great start in the Qatar International Endurocross, for this season I got sponsor for the E1 category, so I changed from the E2 category. I won the E1 category two years ago and hopefully I repeat the same again, but this year is more difficult, more riders, the level is higher. I had a good fight for the first position with Meshari Abou Shaibai from my own country and that was good for me as I see the level getting up in my country and Middle East which makes me proud and this will push higher this sport. It was a good day, tough race and thanks to my sponsors KTM Red Bull, Sun Garde, Adidas, MX-Academy and 965 and of course my coach Mohammed Balooshi for preparing me so hard for this season,” said Jaffar.
The second position was for Meshari Abou Shaibah and Moath Al Ansari also from Kuwait came in third place.
For the newcomer in this championship, the South African rider Ross Runnalls this was a double win in his debut. He won both races and took the first position in the overall category in the E2. “The track was good, it was a fun experience to come out here to Qatar. I found the track tricky today, especially with the water and the side vision with the googles I had some issues but all in all it was a good day. My intention is to make all the championship as long as it doesn’t clash with Dubai races,” said Runnalls.
The Emirati rider Mohammed Al Balooshi came in second position in the E2. “I lead for 3-4 laps but then I got really tired and two guys passed me, Ryan and Ross, I keep the pace and I finished second and I am happy. It is good for the championship to start like this and for the second round will see. In the Moto1 I had some technical issues but we fixed and it was much better in moto2,” said al-Balooshi. The South African Michael Anderson ended in third place in E2.
In the Veterans category, the overall win was for Tomi Sarivaara from Finland and the Canadian rider Luc Dubois finished second and Yannic Le Governed from France finished third in veterans.
The British rider Paul Holmes was the winner in the Quads category. “The race was good, it was difficult but it was fun. The first race was a little easier as Mohamed Abu Issa had some problems and couldn’t fight for the lead. Both races were very challenging because of the water and the second race was tougher but to come up with the win is great,” said H. The Qatari rider Mohammed Abu Issa finished in second place and the Kuwaiti rider Fahad Al Musallam came third.
Trophies were presented by Nasser Khalifa Al Attiyah, FIM Deputy President and QMMF President, Mr. Sultan Zaher Al Morraikhi, QMMF Board Member and Mr. Isa Al Awadi, FIM Asia Vice President.
“We are extremely happy for the opening round of the season of Qatar International Endurocross, this is an amazing event and year by year, event by event the number is increasing, the level of the competition is getting higher and we are very proud of this and we are looking for the future to have a world championship of Enduro. We will see but most of the participant in the region are very strong to bring a world champion event for sure we are trying every time to increase the level of organization, safety and for sure we are going to have more activities. Thank to all the teams and riders to give a good show and progress and thank to all the organization team and officials and people that are behind this event,” said Nasser Khalifa Al Attiyah.
“All riders and spectators enjoyed a lot the opening round of Qatar International Endurocross and we are looking for the second round of endurocross in Bahrain and Qatar as we also do for the Motocross. So far Bahrain and Qatar but we hope more countries will follow us,” FIM Asia Vice President Zone 2 , Isa Al Awadi said.
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