After a torrid start to the 2019 season that saw the reigning P1 AquaX USA champion, Eric Francis crash out in the Daytona surf losing a front tooth and valuable points, the 33 year old from Palm Beach, Florida struggled for the reminder of the domestic season. This saw him lose not only his place at the head of the P1 AquaX World Rankings but also the USA Pro Enduro title to RIVA racing’s Brian Baldwin.
However, with renewed energy and the chance to redeem himself, Francis headed to the final event of the year last month, the AquaX World Championship in The Bahamas, totally focused on being crowned world champion. He knew that a good showing in Nassau would earn him double ranking points and a good chance of once again wearing the world No. 1 vest. He went on to dominate all three races on his Broward Racing Yamaha GP1800 to win the title and secure enough world ranking points to climb back to the top.
A delighted Francis said: “My aim in The Bahamas was to take the Pro Enduro world title and so regain my No. 1 world ranking, and that’s exactly what I’ve done. This is a great Christmas present.”
Launched in 2014, the World Rankings identify the most consistent and talented P1 AquaX riders in the world and are revealed every six months. Lisa Barsby, Global Head of P1 AquaX, explained: “Calculated using two years’ worth of data, they have become an established and valued part of our racing. More than 500 riders have now made an appearance in the rankings and they have become a great talking point. Factors that impact on the allocation of ranking points include where the rider finishes in a race, the number of competitors, the water conditions, the level of the race class and of the riders taking part.”
American riders retain the top three places but France’s two leading racers are in close contention. This year’s AquaX USA champion, Brian Baldwin from North Carolina slips down one place to number 2, with former national champion Chris MacClugage, who wore the No. 1 vest in 2018, remaining in third place. Thomas Favolini, who impressed in The Bahamas, moves up two places to fourth, but the biggest surprise and new to the top 10 is the newly-crowned AquaX EuroTour champion, Alex Barret who leaps up ten places to fifth. Indiana’s Christian Daly moves up to sixth place while Eric Lagopoulos holds on to seventh. Britain’s Phil Pope and Joe Harvey both drop places but remain in the top 10 at eighth and ninth respectively. The 2019 USA Pro Rookie of the Year, Tyler Hill rounds out the top 10 listing.
For a list of the top 50 riders please use this link: TOP 50 AQUAX WORLD RANKED RIDERS