Road Racing

Alex Cudlin marching to third QIRRC title after dominant round three win

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Alex Cudlin gives the thumbs up after dominating round three of the Qatar International Road Race Championship
QMMF Suzuki GSX-R1000 rider Alex Cudlin has increased his championship lead in the Qatar International Road Race Championship (QIRRC) to a massive 92 points after claiming a triple victory in round five of the series at the Losail circuit in Qatar over 10-11 May weekend.

The Australian went into the round with a 33 point buffer and thanks to some brilliant riding and bad luck for his main title rival Mashel Al Naimi (Honda), needs just eight points from the final two rounds to walk away with his third straight QIRRC title when the series reconvenes for the penultimate round at the Losail circuit on 7-8 June.

Cudlin started the weekend by scorching to pole position on the QMMF Suzuki GSX-R1000 by clocking a 2m02.712s lap ‰ÛÒ the fastest ever lap in the QIRRC around Losail ‰ÛÒ to sit nearly a full second in front of fellow Suzuki rider Prinz (2m03.544s). Rounding out the front row was BMW rider Nasser Al Malki with a 2m04.359s lap.

It was Al Malki who would prove to be Cudlin‰Ûªs main protagonist throughout the first 15 lap encounter, the Qatari local using the extra straight line speed of the BMW to stay with Cudlin down the kilometer long front straight, before Cudlin would edge away in the corners.

Cudlin eventually slithered away from Al Malki, taking the win by 1.010 sec with Prinz in third. Cudlin‰Ûªs championship rival Mashel Al Niami (Honda) retired after five laps, leaving the Aussie to open up a 58 point lead in the championship.

Race two again saw Al Malki give Cudlin grief for the majority of the race. He managed to past the Aussie on the front straight on lap three, however on lap seven Cudlin hit straight back and held on to claim the race victory, again by 3.8sec.

Horrible luck again struck Al Naimi, his CBR1000RR engine expiring and leaving the former Moto2 rider needing a miracle if he is to become the 2013 Qatari champion.

Race three and Cudlin stamped his authority on the Qatari field, winning by a whopping 6 sec over Prinz to open up his championship to a massive 92 points over Prinz with two rounds to go.

‰ÛÏWhat can I say? It was a perfect day‰Ûªs racing and all the cards happen to fall my way this time," Cudlin enthused. "I felt like I was riding well ‰ÛÒ it was good to have a battle with Al Malki ‰ÛÒ so it‰Ûªs great to be able to reward the team with the triple victory tonight.

‰ÛÏIt‰Ûªs a shame for Al Naimi, you couldn‰Ûªt get much more rotten luck if you went looking for it, but this is racing and you have to take the good with the bad. Today, I‰Ûªm taking the good!

‰ÛÏIt‰Ûªs nice to have only eight points left to claim the championship. I‰Ûªd like to get it sown up as early as possible but I know the field won‰Ûªt make it easy for me. I feel my fitness level is the best it has ever been and me strength during the races is certainly showing, so even though I only need eight points to win the title, I still want to win the remaining races and end the Qatari season on an even bigger high," he concluded.

2013 QATAR INTERNATIONAL ROAD RACE CHAMPIONSHIP AFTER FIVE ROUNDS
1 A Cudlin Suz 224
2 N Prinz Suz 132
3 S Alsulaiti BMW 127
4 M Al Naimi Hon 116
5 N Al Malki BMW 105

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