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Nov 09, 2012 - 05:33 PM
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Motorcity UAE Sportbike Championship Round 1 & Round 2 At Dubai Autodrome
Posted by: newsla on Nov 09, 2012 - 05:30 PM
Motorcity UAE Sportbike Championship Round 1 & Round 2 At Dubai Autodrome

Last season Dubai based Indian rider Surya Raja arrived on the Motorcity UAE Sportbike Championship scene and made an immediate impression by winning the hotly contested Rookie Cup, and this year he has started where he left off by winning the two opening races of the season at Dubai Autodrome.


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Raja, riding a Yamaha in the 600 Class, was somewhat fortuitous in the first race when reigning champion Mahmoud Tannir, riding the Duseja Motors Triumph slid off early on in the race and handing the lead to Raja who held on to it until the end, with Ducati mounted Joe Oxley crossing the line in second place and Rob Nicholas claiming third aboard his Triumph.

For the second race Tannir was relegated to the back of the grid, which inspired him as he gave a gutsy performance storming through the field to take the lead around mid-distance. But the champion had worked his tyres too hard in the process which allowed Raja to real him in, with the finish in sight, to claim his second win on the day, with second place going to Tannir and Nicholas third again.

Raja summed up his day, “I did not expect to be here today with these wins. I knew we would be contenders, but this feels great to win the first two races of the season. I was a bit lucky in the first race, but am really satisfied with the second win. When Tannir got past me, something told me to hang in there and not give up, and then things went my way again. So the win is extra special.”

As for the rest of the season Raja was cautious, “It is still very early days. Mahmoud [Tannir] is a tough guy and he will bounce back, and there are a couple of other riders in the field who can also win. I am going to take each race one at a time.”

Tannir did not allow the disappointment of the race one DNF to spoil his day and rather took the positives from his storming charge in race two.

The reigning champion said, “In the first race, on the third lap, I was pushing but there was not enough heat in the front tyre and I lost the front end. As per the rules I couldn’t remount and continue, so that was that.”

“In the second race I started form the back and made my way through the field. It felt good because my pace was strong and managed to take the lead, but maybe I pushed too hard towards the end, because I had no rear grip and this allowed Surya [Raja] to catch up and get by. It’s a long season so we will bounce back for sure,” concluded Tannir.

In the 1000 Class Abdul Aziz Bin Ladin on his Kawasaki was simply invincible and in a class of his own as he notched up two convincing wins, the second after starting from the back of the field due to late arrival on the grid.

Bin Ladin commented afterwards, “It is really nice to come here to my ‘home’ track and win both races, especially after my tough season in British Superbikes. Although I can feel that my riding has improved thanks to the experience in the UK and that was very satisfying. Also, it was good to see the great atmosphere here at Dubai Autodrome.”

Behind the Saudi ace, Alan Boyter took second place to make it a 1-2 for Kawasaki with Nasser Al Shaiba claiming third place. In race two Al Shaiba turned the tables to take second place from Boyter who ended third.

The bill also featured the first two races of the 2012-2013 Formula Gulf 1000 series, with Malaysian lady racer Natasha Seatter winning both races.

Dubai Autodrome general Executive Hamish Brown reflected on the first round of the Motorcity UAE Sportbike Championship, “It was a very positive day, with a big grid of riders and a quality field too. The racing was of a high order, and thanks to combining the racing with track day activities for cars and motorcycles the atmosphere on day was excellent. Congratulations ot all the winners.”

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