27 Jan 2021
Doha, 26 January 2021. Aspire Student-Athletes were in scintillating form and dominated the motorbike races at Round 1 of Qatar's premier motorsports season held at Losail Circuit Sports Club during the weekend of 22 - 23 January 2021. The trio of Yousef Al Darwish, Saad al Harqan and Hamad Al Sahouti were involved in some of the best youth motorsport racing seen at the international track for years. So good were the Aspire boys that in the QSSP300 championship races on Friday and Saturday consecutively they occupied the top four positions, outriding the rest. On Friday 22nd January, Hamad Al Sahouti finished first ahead of Yousef Al Darwish and Saad al Harqan respectively but the next day in race 2, Yousef Al Darwish went one place better winning the race with Saad al Harqan behind and Hamad Al Sahouti settling for fourth place.
The weekend went even better for Yousef Al Darwish in the QSTK600 Trophy category where he carried his brilliant form and raced to victory on both days. Yousef Al-Darwish ended the weekend of round 1 with a total of 3 first-place podiums and speaking after the races said, Honestly I don’t know what to call this weekend other than crazy and amazing 4 races P2,P1, P1, P1. I would love to thank everyone on helping me get to where I am, from Aspire Academy through to Ooredoo for sponsoring me to this point, Mateo Tunez my coach, my father Mohamed Al Darwish, and QMMF Executive Director Amro Al Hamad for walking me through from the beginning and for the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation and Losail Circuit Sports Club for organizing it all. Next year, my target is to improve, move up from the trophy category, and make it to Spain with the seniors. I aim to hold on to my podium position this year," concluded Al Darwish after a superb weekend of riding.
Meanwhile fellow Aspire student, Hamad Al Sahouti was equally happy with his weekend’s work on the track, “I am thrilled to start the season after the injury, psyched to see what this season will come to be, I am grateful for everyone around me that supports and motivates me. In the QSSP 300 race 1, l had a remarkable result but for the 2nd race l finished fourth. l will continue to fight and get my podium place back. I did my best but sometimes these things happen. I am still recovering, and I will do my best to make it back," said Al Sahouti, who is recovering from a shoulder injury sustained in mid-October during training camp.
As for Saad Al Harqan, he was almost speechless as he described his opening racing weekend, “What can I say? An amazing start to 2021. I had an amazing training session on Thursday, I tested my limits and pushed myself to the maximum to ensure total readiness for the weekend’s races. I was nervous, but knew I had it in me. Friday l had an amazing free practice to prepare myself for qualifying; the effort paid off handsomely as I finished in P2 on the grid, something l could not have ever expected. As a matter of fact, in race one I led the race for 6 solid laps. Unfortunately, in the last lap I had a couple of fights and almost crashed, which got me out of the racing line, but this did not stop me, and I pushed even harder, and I managed to take 3rd place on the podium. I knew I could do better which was my main motivator for the following day, Saturday. After all, attempting to win means you’re willing to go longer, work harder, and give more than anyone else; it’s in my blood. On Saturday I spent time with my bike to create a positive headspace for the race ahead. I did a couple of warmup laps to prepare for the second race. It felt euphoric, just me, my bike, my grid, my race. In that moment, I felt time had stopped and I knew this is what I was meant to do, this is me; Saad Al Harqan, the motorbiker. This is who I want to be. This is who I am. I fought my way through the race making sharp turns and risky slides. From beginning to end my blood, sweat, and tears went into that race. I see the finish line, so close yet so far and as soon as I crossed l knew it, there I am - holding second place. I look to my coaches, friends and family to see their approval. The smiles on their faces brought me to my knees where I whispered Thank God,” an ecstatic Saad Al Harqan waxed lyrical describing his fantastic weekend of motorbike racing.