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AL QASSIMI SETS HOT PACE IN ABU DHABI BAJA AS DOCHERTY GRABS BIKES LEAD ON RALLY DEBU
New event provides demanding test for drivers, riders in mighty dunes of Rub Al Khali

The UAE's Sheik Khalid Al Qassimi driven his way into an instructing lead on the opening leg of the inaugural Abu Dhabi Baja today as the new occasion exhibited a requesting test for drivers and riders among the hills of the Rub Al Khali.

Joined forces by British co-driver Chris Patterson in the Abu Dhabi Racing Peugeot 2008 Dakar, Al Qassimi, top seed in the T1 Autos category, won the 97-km Arada Special Stage 1 by 21 mins 57 secs from Emirati Nooh Bu Hamaid in a Nissan Patrol.

On a day when a progression of cars got caught in tricky delicate sand, Mansoor Parol and co-driver Imran Mahmood were third snappiest in a Toyota Prado in front of Argentinian driver Ariel Jaton in the all-electric ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered.

Occurring under the support of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council and composed by the Emirates Motorsport Club (EMC), the fifth round of the 2019 UAE Baja Championship sent 44 contenders enthusiastically from the meeting base at the prestigious Moreeb Dune close to the Liwa desert garden.

Al Qassimi, who drives the T1 title race in the wake of winning three of the past rounds, said toward the finish of the leg: "It was a troublesome stage since I was opening the street.

"Be that as it may, it was great learning experience since you need to take as much time as is needed in the ridges. Due to the hour of day the light makes it difficult to see over the peaks. Be that as it may, we put in a decent normal speed and it was great preparing."

While Al Qassimi is all around acquainted with hitting the front in crosscountry rallies, it was another experience for UAE-based KTM rider Micheal Docherty who was the unexpected pioneer in the savagely challenged Motos 450 Category.

The Dubai-based South African, who has contended in moto cross for a long time of 18 years, finished his first historically speaking crosscountry rally arrange driving by 13 seconds from individual comrade Aaron Mare on a Honda, with Kuwait's Mohammed Jaffar in third spot, 1 min 53 secs back on another KTM.

"That was an amazing ride," said Docherty. "I was going into the obscure truly, riding with GPS just because, not comprehending what's in store. Be that as it may, I'm not astounded to lead in light of the fact that nobody needs to begin first tomorrow."

Top Emirati KTM rider Mohammed Al Balooshi, the No.1 seed and tight title pioneer, needed to make due with fourth quickest on the day, with his closest title rival, Dubai-based Dave McBride, in 6th.

The 280 km occasion arrives at its decision tomorrow around lunchtime on culmination of the 105-km Moreeb Special Stage 2 getting going at 8 am.

Provisional leading positions-T1 Autos

1. Sheik Khalid Al Qassimi/Chris Patterson (UAE/UK)/Peugeot 2008 DKR 1:38.09

2. Nooh Bu Hamaid/Salim Al Ali (UAE/UAE)/Nissan Patrol 2:00.06

3. Mansoor Parol/Imran Mahmood (UAE/UAE)/Toyota Prado 2:47.36

4. Ariel Jaton/Eduardo Blanco (ESP/ESP)/ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered 2:53.50

5. Khaled Al Jafla (UAE)/Dunebike/Armada 2:56.22

6. Ahmed Barakat/Amira Khalil (UAE/UAE)/Nissan Patrol 2:58.59

Provisional Leading positions – Motos 450

1. Micheal Docherty (UAE)/KTM 450 SX-F 1:14.53

2. Aaron Mare (UAE)/Honda 450 Rally 1:15.06

3. Mohammed Jaffar (KWT)/KTM 450 SX-F 1:16.59

4. Mohammed Balooshi (UAE)/KTM Rally Moto 450 1:19.56

5. Rashed Abdulla (UAE)/KTM 250 SX 1:21.08

6. David McBride (UAE)/KTM 450 SX-F 1:23.12

7. Sultan Al Balooshi (UAE)/Kawazaki KX 250 F 1:23.37

8. Abdullah Al Shatti (KWT)/KTM Rally Moto 450 1:24.57

9. Richard Brewer (UAE)/Yamaha YZ 450 FX 1:27.08

10. Abdulla Abu Aisheh (JOR)/KTM 350 1:27.14

Caption:

1. Sheik Khalid Al Qassimi taking a telling lead in his Abu Dhabi Racing Peugeot 2008 Dakar.

2. Micheal Docherty – won his frst ever crosscountry rally arrange.

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