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One rider who may well have a big say in the overall

outcome should either of the front runners falter

is the man in third place, Hungary’s Gyorgy Kasza.

Kasza is blindingly quick, a two-time Moto winner

with three podiums under his belt and but for a

technical problem in the season opener in Moto 2

after winning the first and a post-race penalty that

dropped him from first to third in the second Moto

in Olbia he would be within touching distance of

his rivals if not holding the points lead instead of

needing to overhaul a 17 point deficit.

Outside the top three but with too much ground

to make up to challenge for title honours are a

clutch of riders capable of taking wins and points

out of the lead trio and are previous GP winners;

Lars Akerblom, currently fourth in the standings

and runner-up in the title race last year and James

Bushell, runner-up in 2015 and who has qualified

in pole in Sharjah twice but is having a poor season

and down in 12th, whilst the likes of this year’s

European Champion Christophe Agostinho and

Marcus Jorgensen are both capable of challenging

for podium places.

In Ski GP1 Kevin Reiterer looks well-placed to regain

the title he first and last held in 2015 and heads

to Sharjah with a 14 point margin over the 2018

European Champion Raphael Maurin, picking up a

first Moto win and podium for Victory Team in the

season opener and then taking the GP win in Olbia

with maximum points.

Reiterer is another with an impressive record

on Khalid Lagoon, winning the GP title twice but

his breakdown in last years’ final Moto ended his

unbeaten run and will be a stark reminder for the

Austrian ace that nothing is a given.

Frenchman Maurin is the closest challenger and

will feel that he is in with great chance after edging

Reiterer in Gallipoli for overall victory and following

that with another podium in third.

Forty points plus is the unlikely margin to overturn

facing a chasing trio of hopeful outsiders led

by former two-time champion Mickael Poret,

defending champion and last years’ Sharjah victor

Quinten Bossche and Stian Schjetlein who has

podiumed twice in Sharjah.

The Ladies division has produced some of the

outstanding racing and performances of the season

and is a three way fight for the title between Latvia’s

Krista Uzare, Sweden’s two-time and defending

n° 5 DECEMBER | 2018