It was double joy for Qatari racer Mishal al-Naimi in the Qatar Superstock600 yesterday.
After winning the opening race in an exciting and thrilling battle with Saeed al-Sulaiti and Nasser al-Malki, al-Naimi also won the second race of the day after another intense battle with Saeed al-Sulaiti.
Al-Sulaiti was leading for the better part of the race before al-Naimi passed him in the final straight to make it a grand double.
Al-Naimi won the 12-lap opening race in 25.10.279 minutes, 0.008 seconds ahead of runner-up al-Sulaity (25.10.359). Al-Malki came third in 25.14.080 minutes, while Fahad al-Suwaidi and Ali al-Shamari ended fourth and fifth respectively.
In the first race, al-Naimi started from pole position and managed to keep the lead till the end despite a close chase by al-Sulaiti and al-Malki. “I am very happy with the result. I didn’t expect a fight so challenging. When I started the race, I felt I was very fast. After three laps I looked back and saw Saeed and Nasser close behind me and I thought it would be difficult to push till the end of the race. I am lucky I managed to win the race,” said al-Naimi after his win.
Second placed al-Sulati, who overtook al-Naimi for a brief period before being overtaken in the final lap, said he was happy with his performance.
“It was a dramatic race, one of the races I enjoyed most. When it was five laps to go I tried to overtake Mishal and create a gap but unfortunately it was not possible to get distance and in the straight line of the last lap he overtook me. I am happy with my performance but not with the second position,” said al-Sulaiti.
The podium was completed by al-Malki. “I think I was not lucky enough today. The race was good at the start with the bike and tires but after seven laps I started to lose power and couldn’t push more. I started losing the grip and my position lap by lap,” he said.
The trophies were presented by HE the Minister of Culture and Sports, Salah bin Ghanem bin Nasser al-Ali, QMMF President Abdulrahman al-Mannai and Khalid al-Remaihi, LCSC Vice-President & General Manager.
The QMMF President expressed happiness at the high level of competition witnessed during the races. “We are so happy with the launch of the Qatar Superstock 600. Today we have witnessed a tough competition between the riders. With this new championship, with all participants racing with the same motorbikes and no rider having any advantage over the other, the races have become really competitive and exciting, as what counts in the end is the potential and skill of the rider,” he said.
In his address, the Minister said the Ministry of Culture and Sports will spare no effort in supporting and backing new motor racers.
He also praised the efficiency in organizing the tournament, pointing that the races were strong and exciting an all its categories.
He pointed out that there are a lot of plans in collaboration with Lusail Circuit Club and Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF) to promote the participation of Qatari youth in the Touring Car Championship which has not seen large Qatari participation as compared to the motorcycle championships. He considered the first round to be just a beginning, and hopes that the next rounds will see great success in terms of both participation and organization.
The next round of the QSTK600 will be run on February 3.