Shaikh Salman and Faqihi share the spoils as Alnaimi and Alshammari double
BIC, Sakhir – Shaikh Salman bin Isa bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa and Mohamed Faqihi claimed a victory apiece in an exciting fourth round of the BIC 2,000cc Challenge, held today as part of National Race Day at Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) in Sakhir.
Despite their victories, both drivers had mixed luck in the meeting. Shaikh Salman won a wet first race but then dropped out of race two due to engine trouble, while Faqihi made up for his non-classification in race one with a hard-fought victory in the second sprint.
Meanwhile, also as part of National Race Day, Mishal Alnaimi and Ali Alshammari both came away with fantastic doubles in their respective series. Alneaimi won both races in the Bahrain Superbike Championship (BSBK) while Alshammari enjoyed his own pair of victories in the Bahrain Motorcycle Racing (BMR) 600.
All of today’s action was held along BIC’s 2.550-kilometre Inner Track.
Shaikh Salman started the day off on a high note, topping the timesheet in practice and then capturing pole position for race one with a best qualifying lap time of one minute 17.255 seconds in his white Honda CIVIC.
The defending champion continued his fine form in race one, getting off to a clean start to maintain his advantage ahead of a chasing pack that included Faqihi , also in a white CIVIC, and Raed Himmo in a black CIVIC.
But nearly midway through the race, Faqihi and Himmo could not continue eventually leading to their non-classification.
Shaikh Salman went on to secure a pole-to-flag victory in comfortable fashion in 17:40.552. Lee Stones took advantage of the opportunity and finished as the runner-up in his BMW 3 Series/F20C. He was a distant 41.221 seconds behind.
Martyna Al Qassab was third to become the first-ever lady driver to finish on the podium in the history of the BIC 2,000cc Challenge. She was 1:21.341 back in her silver Renault Clio.
Ramzi Al Qassab in a silver CIVIC, Michael Priester in a white Honda CRX and Mohammed Janahi in a Red Mini Cooper Works rounded out fourth through sixth place, respectively.
In race two, Faqihi did well to battle from his starting position on the fourth and final row alongside Himmo, with Janahi and Priester forming the front two.
Shaikh Salman, starting from sixth, was forced out of the race after three laps and Faqihi took over as the leader. He won in 18:15.522.
Stones enjoyed his second podium of the day with another second-place finish, just 2.978s behind Faqihi. Himmo earned the final podium spot 4.679s back. Janahi and Martyna rounded out the top five.
Meanwhile, Mishal Alneaimi got back to his winning ways with a fine double in the BSBK, which featured 13 riders competing on identical Ducati 899 Panigale sports bikes.
After not finishing in first place in race two of the previous round held in January – the first time he wasn’t the victor in any race in this regional series – Alneaimi stormed out of the gates this meeting.
The Qatari was nearly a second quicker than his closest rival in qualifying, and then took the race one chequered flag in 12:38.430. He was 4.616s ahead of runner-up Fahad Alsowaidi, while Ahmed Almuyini was third 9.809s from the victor. Alshammari, Salman Khalaf and Wesley Pearce completed the top six in the final race one classification.
In race two, Alneaimi did well to fight his way back to the front after losing four positions in the early stages of the race. Towards the end, he was clear of the field and won in 12:49.772 – 4.290s quicker than Mike “Spike” Edwards who claimed second place. Alshammari had another podium in third 13.465s adrift. Alsowaidi, Almuyini and Khalaf were all in the top six.
Alshammari transferred his exceptional form to the BMR 600, where he was competing in the Super Stock category riding his Kawasaki ZX6R. He won race one in 13:10.960, just 3.844s in front of Ali Ahmed Adiby, also on a ZX6R. Mohammad Adhan Al Zaidan on a Yamaha R6 finished third 15.384s back.
In the Hornets class where riders were competing on identical 600cc Honda Hornet bikes, Pawel Rosciszewski won race one with David Wynne in second. Khalifa Khalil Ebrahim was third.
In race two, Alshammari completed his Super Stock double in 13:14.322. Al Zaidan was second 10.776s back, while Nawaf Al Shuaibi was third 17.726s behind.
Rosciszewski, Wynne and Adel Najjar rounded out the top three Hornets competitors.
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