Al Malki wins the race and Cudlin claims his third QIRRCH title
Only one race of the sixth round of the Qatar International Road Racing Championship took place yesterday at Losail International Circuit. Because of the adverse weather conditions, the first race was delayed until the conditions were safe enough for all the riders, so after two different tests in the track from the organizers and the riders, the first race took place at 22.10 hours and the second race had be postponed in the next and final round.
In a windy and dusty weekend, the BMW rider, Nasser Al Malki was the fastest rider in all the sessions and his performance was excellent throughout the weekend. Al Malki got the pole position on Friday and he lead all the race from the beginning to the end and didn't give any chance to Alex Cudlin to overtake him. With a second position, the defendant champion, Alex Cudlin, renewed his title for third time in his new Kawasaki bike with still three more races to go. The third place in the podium was for Mishal Al Naimi with his Honda bike. The French wild card Anthony Delhalle ended in fourth position.
Now that the title is already decided, there will be an exciting and tough battle with four riders to get the second place, as there is only a gap of 13 points between the second and fifth classified. The German rider Nina Prinz is second with 143 points and the three Qatari riders, Saeed Al Sulaiti (137), Mishal Al Naimi (132) and Nasser Al Malki (130) are third, fourth and fifth places respectively.
Regarding the Losail Asian Road Racing Series, the winner was the Indonesian rider Mohammad Reihan, who stepped in the first place in the podium in his category for first time this season. The second place was for Deepak Ravikumar from India and Walid Benterki from Algeria was in third place. The leader of the championship, the Indian rider Rajini Krishnan finished in fourth position and he has six points difference with Deepak Ravikumar who is second in the standings.
The seven and last round for the QIRRCH will be on 21st and 22nd June where it will take place also the second race from this sixth round.
In the podium ceremony, trophies were presented by Mr. Sultan Al Morraikhi, QMMF Board Member.
In the Press Conference after the race, Mr. Rashid Al Sulaiti, QMMF Public Relations congratulated all the winners and the riders who participated in this round with the difficult weather conditions during all the weekend, and due to the heavy wind and after checking the track, the organizers decided to postpone the second race in the next round as the strong wind made the riding very difficult specially in the corners and the safety is always the priority. Mr. Rashid Al Sulaiti also spoke about the arrival of new riders to compete in the new season championship and encourage more riders to enter the championship in order to take it to a higher level.
Mishal Al Naimi – 3rd place
'I would like to thank my sponsor Ooredoo for their support and I am very happy with this podium victory with my new sponsor. In the race, I had a bad start moving back to the sixth placed but I pushed hard to get again the second position behind Nasser Al Malki, but the Al Malki was very strong during the whole weekend and it was not possible to overtake him'
Alex Cudlin – 2nd place
'First of all I want to say that I am very happy to win this Championship again, it is my third title in a row. It is something I didn't expect many years ago when I joined the QMMF team for first time in 2009 for the Endurance Championship and in 2010 I took part for first time in the QIRRCH. And now, after four years, I have won this championship three times and the EWC Superstock title in 2010 with Mishal and Nasser and I am very happy and thanks to QMMF for all this opportunities and help me in my career. As for this weekend, we have a new bike, a Kawasaki and the bike is really good but as for the moment I don't have any setting, or data or anything to work with so now we are guessing with the setting but I think we know where to go now and with the right steps, we will go very fast because the bike is amazing for run but just need some refinement and then make a really good lap time. I congratulate Nasser for this weekend, he has been really fast from the first practice lap and he improve a a lot this weekend.'
Nasser Al Malki – 1st place
I am very happy for this weekend and my performance. I want to thank QMMF, BMW Alfardan and Al Rayyan TV and specially Mr. Nasser Khalifa Al Attiya , QMMF President, who pushed me for long time to give the best and this race prove that I am capable to do something. I was unluckily in the last races, but I am looking forward for my success and I will not look back and look forward. For sure the next season will be more competitive and more riders will fight for the first position.'
Nasser Al Malki (Qat) 30:57.766
Alex Cudlin (aus) 31:02.177
Mishal Al Naimi (Qat) 31:03.514
Anthony Delhalle (Fra) 31:24.217
Nina Prinz (Ger) 31:45.956
Saeed Al Sulaiti (Qat) 31:50.601