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Sizzling Sulaiti claims overall title

Sizzling Sulaiti claims overall title

Tribune News Network
DOHA
Saeed al Sulaiti capped his dominant display in the Qatar Online Racing Championship Moto with the crown, sweeping the third and last finals with a stirring comeback at the home Losail International Circuit, on Thursday.
At the floodlit 5.38-km layout, the 35-year-old three-time QSTK600 winner, who raced for Qatar in the World Superbike Championship and Moto2, suffered an early crash but resurged with his typical pace and poise to win the 15-lap race with over 11 seconds ahead of Sheikh Soud bin Jassim al Thani.
The third place went to Kuwaiti rider Mohamad al Zaidan. Hade Patel secured the fourth spot, beating current QSTK600 champion Abdulla al Qubaisi by more than three and a half seconds.
A delighted Sulaiti commented after the race, “I am very happy to be the champion. I want to thank the QMMF for organising the such a fine online championship. It is a hard time for all. I would hope that soon this situation (coronavirus pandemic) ends and we all get a chance to get back to the track. I want everybody to follow the government guidelines and stay safe.”
“As far as the race goes, I made a mistake and had a crash on Turn 5. But I knew if I can maintain by rhythm, I’d be back. I managed to overtake Sheikh Soud and then went on to win the race and the championship. I am proud to win the online title and will be looking forward to more such racing opportunities,” Sulaiti added.
Sulaiti, who was on his sixth pole in a row, bagged the top prize of QR1,5000 with 120 points. This was his fifth victory in the championship. In the second qualifying race, he was not able to connect to the race lobby. Sheikh Soud, with three second-place finishes, collected 108 points and took home the overall second spot and QR13,000. Khalid al Maraghi, despite finishing sixth in the race, managed to total 95 points, which fetched him the third spot and QR10,000. Zaidan had a tally of 93 points and won the fourth prize of QR6,000, while Patel accumulated 90 points and bagged the fifth prize of QR5,000.
The secret of Sulaiti’s return was his dazzling speed. Even in the qualifying runs, he had established a gap of over two seconds. His fastest was 1:50.718, coming in the final lap. That pace helped him get back into the race. After the first lap, Sheikh Soud, who started the race from second, led the field by over one and a half seconds.
Sulaiti’s dramatic recovery however saw him overtake seven riders in the third lap and at the home straight of the fifth, he began trading attacks with Sheikh Soud. After a few bold exchanges, it was Sulaiti, who forged ahead in the sixth lap and kept building on gap. In the next lap, he was clear by 1.7 seconds and never looked back.
Soon the race settled with Sulaiti in the first spot, followed by Sheikh Soud, Zaidan, Patel, Qubaisi, Maraghi, QSTK Trophy winner Jeremy Parola and Kuwait’s Ali Ahmed Boushehri. The trend continued and in the 11th lap, there was excitement as Sheikh Soud lost the control and he was given a hot chase by Zaidan. Though Sheikh Soud managed to defend his position, Zaidan completed the race a little over a second behind Sheikh Soud.
Sheikh Soud said, “I’m happy overall. Saeed did a mistake that allowed me to lead the race for few laps but his pace is fast and he managed to pull big lead on me. Finally the runner-up is great result. All thanks to the QMMF for giving is the chance to compete in this difficult time.”
Maraghi was delighted to achieve his aim and the third spot. He said, “I really wanted to maintain my overall (3rd place). To maintain it, I should have not got lower than P7. So I didn’t push myself to the limit so that I can avoid mistakes. At the end, I achieved the desired results and won the overall third place.”
Zaidan said,”It was an awesome race. I’m glad for my performance, though I would have wanted to attack Sheikh Soud more but could not do so.”
Patel said that the fifth place was something he had been dreaming about. “Being among top 5 for me is a dream come true. I would like to dedicate this victory to my family, friends and fans for their support and prayers. It was kind of a motivation that paid off. For my fans I am champion and I really loved that. Barring me, all the participants were real riders.”
Parola could not push more and had to be satisfied with seventh place. Boushehri got the eighth spot. Sheikh Jassim al Thani and Hamad al Sahouti picked the ninth and 10th spots.QORC MOTO THIRD FINALS RESULTS
Losail International Circuit (15 laps)
# Rider Bike Time
1 19 Saeed al Sulaiti Ducati 28:05.656
2 20 Sheikh Soud al Thani Ducati +11.406
3 17 Mohamad al Zaidan/Kwt Ducati +12.843
4 7 Hade Patel Ducati +15.031
5 2 Abdulla al Qubaisi Ducati +18.687
6 14 Khalid al Maraghi Yamaha +20.718
7 11 Jeremy Parola Ducati +22.158
8 4 Ali Ahmed Bushehri/ Kwt Yamaha +25.625
9 10 Sheikh Jassim al Thani Ducati +38.983
10 8 Hamad al Sahouti Ducati +39.435
QORC Moto standings (after third finals)
# Rider R1 R2 R3 Pts
1 19 Saeed al Sulaiti 40 40 40 120
2 20 Sheikh Soud al Thani 36 36 36 108
3 14 Khalid al Maraghi 33 33 29 95
4 17 Mohamad al Zaidan/Kwt 29 31 33 93
5 7 Hade Patel 31 28 31 90
6 11 Jeremy Parola 30 30 28 88
7 2 Abdulla al Qubaisi 28 27 30 85
8 4 Ali Ahmed Boushehri/Kwt 27 29 27 83
9 10 Sheikh Jassim al Thani 1:52.812 26 24 26 76
10 8 Hamad al Sahouti 1:53.715 25 26 25 76
11 12 Joshua Ilano 23 25 24 72
12 21 Yacob Azadi 21 22 23 66
13 16 Sheikh Saoud al Thani 22 23 0 45
14 18 Saad al Harqan 24 0 0 24

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