Team UAE drivers Sanad Al Rawahi and Piers Pakenham-Walsh finished sixth and ninth respectively on final day of the Rotax MAX Grand Finals in Portugal.
Al Rawahi started from 13th on the grid but was involved in first lap chaos, which saw him drop to near the back of the field of 34. But he recovered well and powered to sixth place for his best showing at a showpiece event.
Meanwhile, Pakenham-Walsh recovered from 29th on the grid to claim a well-deserved ninth place as he battled off some of the world’s top drivers.
"The engine I had was not the fastest, but I gave it all I have and am very happy to be in the top ten. Big thanks to my family, my mechanic Tom Holland and Team UAE for a great effort. I am very, very happy,” said Pakenham-Walsh.
It was bitter disappointment for Luke Varley who never put a foot wrong all week in the DD2 class, winning two of his Heats and finishing second in the Pre-final.
In the final, starting from second on the grid he was swamped and overtaken by several drivers. Nevertheless he recovered well and started picking his way to the front, but while battling for third he tangled with a slower driver and was forced to retire from the race.
Hungarian driver Ferenc Kancsar won the race to claim the DD2 world title.
Both Team UAE drivers in the MAX Pre-final had a morning to forget as they were embroiled in battles that saw them drop down to the tail of the field with Tom Bale and Abdullah Al Rawahi finishing 20th and 26th.
However, they both fared better in the final with Bale crossing the line in 16th and Al Rawahi 21st, with Italian driver Alex Alex claiming the MAX world title.
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Round 3 of the Qatar Superbike Championship has seen some noticeable improvements. No technical issues occurred in either race. So I guess Lady Luck smiled upon us this time around!
However, I am not fully satisfied with the lap time, and I believe that we can still improve on how we start and the way we finish the races.
It is always good to be in Top 4 though, and I am satisfied with that achievement.
We qualified in fourth place and even after some setbacks during the past rounds we managed to get into fourth and I like the fact that we keep on pushing and did not simply give in.
We are excited and ready for this weekend’s race in the UAE Championship.
We are carrying the momentum of the Qatar Championship and we just need to keep going and work hard for a place on the podium.
The grid in the UAE looks decent, we shall have a test on Thursday, and on Friday we will have a warm-up qualifying session and in the afternoon the race will commence.
This year I believe that we have the edge and the experience to perform rather well.
We are feeling confident that we can achieve lap times.
Physically and mentally I am fully ready and dedicated to this sport. I am committed to my diet and I feel that I am in peak form.
When we practice for at the Dubai Autodrome we will work on our starts as on the at the Qatar Championship we were trying new things and thus we got delayed and we could not accelerate quite well.
The Dubai Autodrome is different from the Qatar Championship rally.
With four different layouts and more tight corners the race is more technical and requires more concentration and readiness.
Everything is going according to plan, and with each race we feel that we gain more knowledge and experience regarding all the technical abilities of the bike and the things we can improve on.
It’s a new beginning in the UAE Championship, but we will carry on with the same attitude and commitment.
Dubai Autodrome will host its first race meeting of the 2015-2016 season on the National Circuit configuration tomorrow, with a full programme of championship action featuring the NGK Racing Series, UAE Sportbikes, the Formula Gulf 1000 and the Radical Middle East Cup.
Combining an eclectic mix of racing classes with anything from GT3 cars to the hot hatch Clio Cup, the NGK Racing Series enters round two at the championship’s home track after its opening round two weeks ago at Yas Marina Circuit.
The man to beat last time out in Abu Dhabi was Leon Price in the Dragon Racing Ferrari and he could again set the pace in a series which features a mix of classes catering for just about any raceworthy car.
Also in the mix, in Class 1, are multiple UAE champion Costas Papantonis in his Gulf Petrochem Seat Leon Super Copa and Peter England in his Opel Astra.
All eyes will be on the race-within-the-race Clio Cup where a cluster of drivers will be out to claim top spot on the podium in a series that is well known to produce side-by-side racing.
The UAE Sportbikes will feature two wheel veterans such as UAE champions Abdulaziz Binladen (Kawasaki) and Mahmoud Tannir (Yamaha) doing battle with a host of rookies in the series which caters for both 1000cc and 600cc machines.
Also on the bill are races for the Formula Gulf 1000, featuring young up-and-coming drivers making their first foray into the world of single seater racing after success in karting.
On track action on Friday starts with qualifying for the NGK Racing Series at 09:00.