Tuesday, 27 August: Aquabike Promotion has released a provisional starting line-up of 43 riders from 11 countries for the opening round of the UIM-ABP Aquabike Class Pro World Championship for Runabout GP1 and Ski GP1 and round 2 of Freestyle in Viverone, Italy 5-8 September.
Defending World Champion Francois Medori heads up a strong 20-rider field in the blue riband category Runabout GP1, but the rider from Ghisonaccia [Corsica] will face a stiff challenge as he begins his title defence.
Amongst those lining-up against him will be the newly crowned 2013 European Champion and 2011 World Champion Mattia Fracasso, who may have a slight advantage having raced in Viverone in August, last year’s world number 2 and multiple World Champion Cyrille Lemoine and last year’s world number 3, Lorenzo Benaglia.
With Ski GP1’s defending World Champion Jeremy Poret still to confirm his appearance, the door is open for Spaniard Nacho Armillas, the only rider to beat Poret in 2012 and win a Grand Prix title, doing both in the final event of the year Liuzhou, China.
But he will have to overcome the 2013 European Champion, Portugal’s Tiago Sousa, and last year’s world number 4, Slaven Ivancic from an entry of 13. And mixing it with the men will be Slovenia’s Pija Sumer, Italy’s Marta Sorrentino and France’s Jennifer Menard.
A bumper freestyle entry sees 2012 World Champion Nac Florjancic and Sanya GP winner Rok Florjancic, taking on the 2011 World Champion, Italian Valerio Calderoni, his countryman Roberto Mariani, as well as ABP newcomer Aleksandar Petrovic and Russia’s Alexander Kuramshin.