Suzuki International Europe’s Nina Prinz returned to the podium at the penultimate round of the Qatar Superbike Championship at the weekend and closed the points-gap to third place in the series with two races remaining.
With temperatures in Qatar reaching 50 degrees Celsius in the daytime, the races at the Losail International Circuit are held at night under floodlights. “It is still a massive challenge for the riders and the bikes,” said Prinz. “The temperatures can still remain around 40 degrees after sunset.”
Despite the conditions the German Suzuki rider climbed onto the podium again, adding valuable points to her overall tally.
Said Prinz: “Following my crash at the race two weeks ago the mechanics brought my HPC Power Suzuki back into top shape. I was able to test some suspension parts during free practice and I was doing quick laps and secured fourth place on the grid.”
Prinz wasn´t totally comfortable with the set-up as the soaring heat in the afternoon limited her opportunity to further test in the warm-up session. But the 31-year-old still managed to get an excellent start and immediately found herself in the lead group. “We battled hard over each metre of the track and around mid-race, the positions were sorted and I had a lonely race, securing third place no problem,” she said.
In race two, Prinz had another great start and was fighting for the podium at one point, before coming home in fourth. Said Prinz: “Obviously I would have preferred to score another top-three result but it didn´t happen; although it has still been a very positive weekend. I managed to reduce the gap on third place in the championship and will give it my very best at the closing round.”
The final round of the Qatar Superbike Championship will be held on June 6-7th.
Race 1: 1. Alex Cudlin, AUS, (Kawasaki), 2. Nasser Al Malki, QAT, (BMW), 3. Nina Prinz, GER, (Suzuki), 4. Rajini Krishnan, IND, (Suzuki), 5. Fahid Al Sowaidi, QAT, (Honda).
Race 2: 1. Nasser Al Malki, QAT, (BMW), 2. Mashel Al Naimi, QAT, (Honda), 3. Saed al Sulaiti, QAT, (Kawasaki), 4. Nina Prinz, GER, (Suzuki), 5. Rajini Krishnan, IND, (Suzuki).
Championship Standings (after 12 of 14 races): 1. Alex Cudlin 255 points, 2. Nasser Al Malki 229, 3. Mashel Al Naimi 179, 4. Nina Prinz 155, 5. Saed al Sulaiti 123.