x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Al Ain struggle in France

Al Ain face a tall order to score points in the opening round of the new SuperLeague Formula after qualifying near the back of the grid.

Al Ain face a tall order to score points in today's opening round of the new SuperLeague Formula after qualifying near the back of the grid in 13th for today's races in France. The series, which first began last year, sees teams race under the colours of international football teams, with the UAE being represented by Al Ain of the Pro League. But their race driver Miguel Molina suffered a frustrating time as he was knocked out of the first part of qualifying at the Magny-Cours circuit after setting a time of 1min 27.909secs.

In pole position for the first of the two races is the Brazilian club Corinthians, whose driver Antonio Pizzonia took top spot with a lap of 1.26.555 to edge out Liverpool's Adrian Valles. Meanwhile, in the German Touring Car Championship, Timo Scheider took pole position for today's third round of the season at the Norisring. The defending champion and this season's championship leader scorched around the track in a time of 49.012secs to take first place on the grid, ahead of his Audi teammate Mattias Ekstrom.

The German, who leads by two points in the standings from fellow Audi driver Tom Kristensen and the Mercedes driver Gary Paffett, and will be confident of extending his lead as Paffett could only qualify fourth and Kristensen ninth. In motorcycling action, the American rider Ben Spies put himself in prime position to close the gap on Noriyuki Haga as he dominated qualifying for today's British round of the World Superbike Championship at Donington Park.

He was the only rider to break 90 seconds as he clocked 1min 29.846secs to take pole, ahead of the Italian rider Max Biaggi, and home rider Shane Byrne. Haga, who leads the championship by 48 points from Spies could only qualify sixth, more than a second off the pace. sports@thenational.ae