Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashid Al Mulla aims to clinch a fifth successive freestyle crown in the UIM-ABP Aquabike World Championship when the Regione Sardegna Grand Prix of Italy completes the 2022 series at the weekend.
The Emirati arrives in the coastal city of Olbia defending a remarkable five-year unbeaten run which has seen him record 13 overall Grand Prix victories and win 28 motos in a row.
Al Mulla’s dominance of the world freestyle series has not been seriously threatened since his first Grand Prix triumph back in November 2017, and he remains highly motivated to deliver more titles to Abu Dhabi Marine Sports Club.
“I want to keep on winning, and it’s Team Abu Dhabi and the club that really motivate me,” he said. “I work hard to bring in new tricks every year, like the double back flip. I put in a lot of hours in training to be able to achieve more height.”
As a result of his latest Grand Prix triumph in Spain, Al Mulla holds a six-point lead from one of his main challengers over the years, Roberto Mariani, with another Italian, Alberto Camerlengo, a further four points away in third place in the standings.
His Abu Dhabi team-mate, Emma-Nellie Ortendahl, is also targeting a big finish to the season in Italy in order to climb into an overall podium place in the Ski Ladies GP1 series.
The Swede is primed for a strong challenge in Italy, and will be looking to reproduce the form which carried her to three world titles, as well as runners up spot last year.
Estonia’s Jasmiin Ypraus leads this year’s title race after a hat-trick of moto wins in Spain, with Ortendahl currently lying sixth in the standings, but determined to sign off the season in style.
Kuwait’s Yousef Al Abdulrazzaq will need to wipe out a ten-point lead held by Denmark’s Marcus Jorgensen if he is to snatch another Runabout GP1 title.
Spain’s defending Ski Division GP1 world champion Nacho Armillas misses the event after breaking his left foot in a recent training accident.