Runner-up Nasser Al Malki (left), winner Anthony West (centre) and third place Mashel Al Naimi on the podium after the second race in the Qatar International Road Racing Championship at Losail International Circuit yesterday.
DOHA: Anthony West won both races of the Qatar International Road Racing Championship (QIRRCH) at Losail International Circuit, yesterday.
The Australian rider, who dominated the practice sessions on Friday, held off Britain’s Bradley Smith and compatriot Alex Cudlin, who finished in second and third places respectively in the first race.
In the afternoon race, West crossed the finish line 15.402 seconds ahead of Qatar’s Nasser Al Malki, who finished in second place in a BMW. Al Malki’s compatriot Mashel Al Naimi finished in third place with a Honda.
Elsewhere, in the Losail Asian Road Racing Championship (LARRC), Indian rider Rajini Krishnan won the race, who finished in seventh position overall.
His compatriot Deepak Ravikumar and Hungarian rider Nikolett Kovacs finished in second and third places respectively.
Just like West, Krishnan made it a double win, finishing first in the second race.
Ravikumar and Algerian rider Walid Benterki finished in second and third spots.
West, riding a Suzuki, led the first race from start to finish despite the windy conditions to finish 7.477 seconds ahead of Smith, who will make his MotoGP debut with Yamaha when the season starts at Losail on April 7.
Speaking after the race, West, who also rides for Qatar Motor and Motorcycling Federation (QMMF) Racing Team in Moto2, said: “I had a good feeling and I tried to keep my rhythm and stand on the track as there was a horrible wind all day. I am happy that I didn’t had to fight too much because I got a good gap with the rest.
Smith admitted that he had some problems with his bike during the race. The 22-year-old Briton said: “I had some clutch problems and my start was not good. I made a mistake in the first laps and I run off the track so I lost time to be back. Then I had a good battle with Cudlin and I hope to resolve the problems in the clutch and be closer to West in second race.”
Defending champion, Cudlin, who started the first race in second position, struggled throughout the race but managed to finish in third place. Afterwards, Cudlin said he was happy with the race and enjoyed competing against Smith.
He said: “The race was good, I enjoyed with the battle with Smith. At the beginning of the race I was slow, not good feeling with the front of the bike. It took me some laps to get into the rhythm but then West was gone. The last two laps I lost a little bit and some mistakes make me finished in third but I am happy to race against riders of MotoGP and Moto2.”
German rider Nina Prinz made an excellent start but Prinz’s bike suffered an electrical problem and saw her chances of winning the race end when she had to retire in the seventh lap.
Qatari rider Al Malki finished in fourth position.
In the second race, despite West finishing the line first, Al Malki was said to be pleased to be in second place, after starting from the grid in fifth position.
Prinz, and Smith, both had mechanical problems and had to retire in the middle of the race.