Defending Champion French rider Thomas Favolini is the hot favourite to take the title
2018 Am300 Champion Carl Lofthouse is making the move to the Pro Enduro class this year
2018 Am200 Champion Mickael Le Gall will be taking on the Pros this year
The countdown is underway to the start of P1’s international race season, with Daytona Beach in Florida set to host the opening event next month before the world’s leading marine motorsport promoter makes a return visit to La Seyne-sur-Mer in south eastern France in early May. P1’s extensive 2019 race programme will see it stage more than 20 personal watercraft (pwc) and powerboat racing events from April through to October.
Situated in the Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur region on the Mediterranean coast, La Seyne-sur-Mer will host the first of four events on the P1 AquaX EuroTour calendar, with Ostend (Belgium), Cavalaire-sur-Mer (France), and Port Balis (Spain) making up the 2019 schedule. This is the third year of the EuroTour which will again be sponsored by Experience Kissimmee, the travel and tourism authority in central Florida that promotes the destination domestically and around the world.
A double bill of AquaX and Jetcross racing at Les Sablettes Beach, which receives rave reviews on TripAdvisor, is expected to attract a record entry of around 150 riders from up to 15 countries. “In recent years the town has moved away from its traditional industries such as shipbuilding to tourism” explains Julien Bastien, European Head of the P1 AquaX and Jetcross series. “It boasts a superb, sandy beach, crystal blue water, wonderful views and Mediterranean sunshine, with the city of Toulon just a short ferry ride away across the bay. It’s the perfect venue to stage the P1 Jetcross Grand Prix of the Mediterranean.”
The Jetcross stand-up series has reinforced P1’s growing presence in Europe after joining the family of marine racing brands in 2016. Its international Pro Tour and Amateur Tour will this year comprise five events in three countries, with La Seyne-sur-Mer being one of three French venues and the only one to run Jetcross and AquaX races side-by-side. The two-day event will take place on the weekend of 4-5 May and spectators and TV viewers can expect to enjoy some dramatic, high speed action on the open sea.
Looking ahead to the coming season, Bastien said: “I think it’s going to be very exciting and unpredictable in both championships. Big name Enduro Pro riders such as Alex Barret and François Medori in the MRJ Kawasaki Racing Team will be competing in the AquaX EuroTour series, and leading Yamaha rider Thomas Favolini(pictured) will be defending his championship title. Official Sea-Doo Espana Rider, Jordi Tomas will be one of the favourites to lift the EuroTour crown at the final race weekend of the season in his home country in October, and there are reports that multiple world champion Teddy Pons is set to race in the series. British rider Joe Harvey from the Sapphire Racing Team is believed to have returned to full fitness following his serious injury in the final round of the season in Spain in 2017 and he will be aiming to regain the title he won that year.
P1 Jetcross, regarded as the leading Ski stand-up series in the world, will be extremely interesting this season with new hulls and teams joining the championship. Reigning Pro Tour champion Jeremy Poret will be looking to win his sixth title, which would be a new record, riding either the new Bullett V4 or a Bullett V3 with a Rotax turbo engine. His youngest brother Morgan, who finished second in last year’s championship, will again be a major contender. Former champion Valentin Dardillat is building a new machine supported by engine manufacturer Rotax and he will be hoping to improve on his third place finish last year.
Other riders to look out for will be amateur enduro class winners Carl Lofthouse who won the Am300 class and Mickael Le Gall, the Am200 class Champion. Both riders will move up to the Pro Enduro class this summer with their eyes on the Pro Rookie title as well as making their mark in the world rankings. The La Seyne event will not host Sprint championships which are due to start in Ostend in June.
From the Mediterranean coast the P1 Jetcross action moves to Basse-Ham near the Luxembourg border for the P1 Jetcross Grand Prix of Europe on the River Moselle later that month, whilst the AquaX riders will head north to the Belgian coast to race in Ostend at the end of June.