Suzuki International Europe rider Nina Prinz raced her GSX-R1000 to two podium finishes at the second round of the Qatar Superbike Championship at the weekend at the Losail circuit in Doha.
The 31-year-old German, who also set the fastest lap in qualifying against all her rivals - including former GP rider Anthony West - and secured pole position with a time of 2:03.605 minutes, said: “I surprised myself a little by being the quickest. I felt good and rode in a relaxed manner, which was the key to success.”
Prinz didn’t enjoy the best launch into race one, completing the opening lap in fifth place. "The first lap was really bad, but I managed to quickly work my way up into third place. Then the red flag came out because of liquids on the tarmac," she said.
Prinz went back into the action at the re-start in fourth place, moved to third and went on and attacked Alex Cudlin. "In the final two laps I was very close to Alex. I managed to pass him in the final lap, but he was quicker on the straight. At this point in the championship I don’t want to take any unnecessary risks, so I decided that third place is okay."
The second race went similar to the first and Prinz battled with two domestic riders during the first half of the race, before constantly turning quicker laps and comfortably securing another third place.
Added Prinz: "It was a good weekend. It’s hard to believe I took Pole with last year’s bike, but for the next round in February I will have my new Suzuki GSX-R1000 from Hertrampf-Racing. I can’t wait to put it on the track and see the results."
The new machine will be shipped to Qatar with the support of the Qatar Motorsport Federation (www.qmmf.com) and will be available to Prinz for the remaining rounds of the Qatar Superbike Championship.
Results race 3: 1. Anthony West, AUS, Kawasaki, 2. Alex Cudlin, AUS, Kawasaki, 3. Nina Prinz, GER, Suzuki, 4. Mashel Al Naimi, QAT, Honda, 5. Nasser Al Malki, QAT, BMW
Results race 4: 1. Anthony West, AUS, Kawasaki, 2. Alex Cudlin, AUS, Kawasaki, 3. Nina Prinz, GER, Suzuki, 4. Mashel Al Naimi, QAT, Honda, 5. Nasser Al Malki, QAT, BMW
Overall (after 4 of 14 races): 1. Alex Cudlin, AUS, Kawasaki, 85 points, 2. Nasser Al Malki, QAT, BMW, 67 points, 3. Nina Prinz, GER, Suzuki, 61 points, 4. Mashel Al Naimi, QAT, Honda, 55 points, 5. Anthony West, AUS, Kawasaki, 50 points.