UAE: National Race Day report from Dubai Autodrome
Dubai Autodrome, 8 November 2013 –
– Binladen, Boyter and Collins score double wins in UAE Sportbikes, Reigning UAE Champion Tannir has day to forget.
Abdulaziz Binladin started his 2013-2014 UAE Sportbike Championship campaign in the best way possible, by winning the first two races on the opening day of the season at Dubai Autodrome’s National Circuit configuration on Friday, 8 November 2013.
The Dubai Falcons Kawasaki rider has returned to contest the 600 Class after a season in the non-championship 1000 Class. On the day he was the class of a quality field, winning Race 1 by 5.348 seconds and Race 2 by a whopping 12.157 seconds.
Binladin summed up his day, “It was very hot out there but we managed to get it right, although we tried some setup changes in the second race which did not quite work. I really enjoy the National Circuit configuration as it suits my style and the Kawasaki.”
“I want to thank my team and also Liberty Kawasaki for the support. We did the deal to race this season at short notice and I am glad we can start the season with two wins,” added the Saudi rider.
It is always encouraging to see new talent emerging onto the local scene, and better still when they impress as did Gautam Mayilvaganan who signaled his arrival with two impressive races, which saw him finish second in both aboard his Honda. He showed maturity as he battled in among some of the more seasoned campaigners in the field.
Mayilvaganan said afterwards, “It was a good day and I am happy to be on the podium, and it is part of the plan to do as well as possible at every round and even challenge for the championship.”
Ducati mounted Joe Oxley was in the wars all day, but showed his tenacity by finishing third in both races.
, second placed Gautam Mayilvaganan [left] Joe Oxley third place [right]”]Oxley said afterwards, “I need to get the bike up to speed, because the goal is to compete at the front with Abdulaziz [Binladin] because we aim to challenge for the championship this year. Two podiums on the opening day is a good start.
It was a day to forget for reigning champion Mahmoud Tannir, riding a Triumph Daytona, who slid out during Race 1 while battling for a top three spot, but recovered in Race 2 to finish fourth. Last year he had a similarly poor start to his season, but turned it around as the championship evolved to claim the title.
Michael Collins also got his season to an optimum start by bagging both the big trophies in the Rookie Cup, with two convincing wins aboard his Yamaha. Darryl Pais on his Honda was second on both occasions, with Vafi Khan third in Race 1 and Nasir Hussain third in Race 2.
It was also two wins for Alan Boyter aboard a Kawasaki in the non-championship 1000 Class races, with Nasser Al Shaiba (BMW) and Daimen van Blerk (Ducati), second and third respectively in both races.
Double wins for Price, Papantonis, Channake and Ward in NGK Racing Series
The third and fourth round of the NGK Series took place on the day with Leon Price winning both races in the Dragon Racing McLaren, the car making it’s racing debut at Dubai Autodrome.
Other winners on the day included Costas Papantonis in the Gulf Petrochem SEAT who won both Class 1 races, Rupesh Channake a double winner in Class 2 at the wheel of his Lap57 Honda, Shannon Ward notching up two wins in Class 5 in his KTM Oxbow, and Gulf Petrochem backed driver Alex Annivas taking two wins in the Clio Cup class ahead of Simon Dennis.
Price said afterwards, “We are using the NGK racing series as a test ground for our cars. The McLaren is improving with every track outing and today was another useful step in the programme we have in place to develop the car into a race winning package.”
Papantonis summed up his afternoon in the cockpit, “We had a relatively hassle free day out on track. I really enjoyed my battle with Shannon [Ward], although we are in different classes the racing was tough but good fun. We are now on track with our campaign and these two wins are a good kickstart for our season.”
Channake reflected on his double win, “No complaints at all. The car was great, we had no problems, about as perfect as a day can be. Thanks to my team Lap57, the NGK Series sponsors and Dubai Autodrome for hosting the championship.”
The next rounds of the UAE championships take place at Dubai Autodrome on 22 November 2013.