UAE’s Rashid Al-Mulla needs helping hand ahead of Italian showdown

OLBIA: Rashid Al-Mulla will need to thank a friend if the Team Abu Dhabi star clinches a fifth successive freestyle crown in the UIM-ABP Aquabike World Championship in Italy tomorrow night.

The Emirati star — unbeaten for five years — had to miss Friday night’s pole-position qualifier with engine problems as the Regione Sardegna Grand Prix of Italy got under way.

Al-Mulla found a solution, borrowing a friend’s jet ski to take his place in the first competitive freestyle moto, which brought action on the second day to a conclusion in the coastal city of Olbia in north east Sardinia.

Roberto Mariani was the leading freestyle qualifier, but the Italian, along with all other challengers, have been unable to prevent Al-Mulla putting together a run of 13 Grand Prix victories and 28 successive moto wins since 2017.

Mechanical issues permitting, Al-Mulla will look to extend the longest winning sequence in international watersports when the final round of the 2022 Aquabike World Championship reaches its climax on Sunday night.

In Ski Ladies GP1, Team Abu Dhabi’s three-times world champion Emma-Nellie Ortendahl took sixth place in today’s first moto, which was won by France’s Estelle Poret.

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