Endurance

Alex Cudlin Speaks About 24 Hour Superstock Le Mans Win

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Australia's four time Qatar Superbike Champion, Alex Cudlin, and his QMMF Kawasaki ZX-10R teammates Mashel Al Naimi and fellow Aussie Anthony West, clinched a dramatic victory in the Superstock category at the Le Mans 24 Hour at Le Mans in France over 20-21 September.

After the first 2 days of practice, Alex and team QMMF were in high spirits for a strong qualifying position after setting fast and consistent times throughout the practice sessions.

With Qualifying underway, Alex Cudlin stunned onlookers with his qualifying time of 1:38.7 - the only Superstock rider on the grid to go under the 1:39 bracket and thus cementing QMMF racing team‰Ûªs Superstock pole position.

Anthony West was elected to start the iconic race, with the team quickly establishing a lead over the Junior Suzuki team. With West and Cudlin doing a series of double stints, the lead was increased to 1 lap by the 10 hour point, however it was all in vain as the team endured the pit stop from hell with two stripped axles, dropping them to 1 lap behind the Suzuki Junior team and leaving them with a mountain of work to do.

But in racing when a negative happens, it's sometimes followed by a positive. The good news came with the drops of rain on the garage roof at 4 am, and with possibly the best wet weather rider in the world, Anthony West on their side, the team clawed back the 1 lap deficit to be just 30 seconds in front by the time the rain stopped.

Alex Cudlin and Al Naimi then stepped up to the plate, recording some of the fastest times of the entire race to cement the advantage for Team QMMF in the Superstock category, increasing the lead to 2 laps, bringing the bike across the finishing line at 3pm in first place in the Superstock category.

For Cudlin, it was a sweet moment as he climbed onto one of the most famous podiums in the world for the second time, having taken the Le Mans Superstock honours for QMMF back in 2010. The win also saw the team take second overall in the Endurance World Cup, after going into the Le Mans round in sixth place.

‰ÛÏThere's hardly any better feeling than winning a 24 hour race." Cudlin enthused. "You're so knackered, the bike's almost falling apart and everyone's ready to fall over, but that top step of the podium makes it all worth while.

"This was easily the best team effort we've had this year - Mashel really stepped it up in the morning when we needed it and Anthony was very impressive with his debut 24 hour race.

"I felt like my riding this weekend was some of my best ever. I set a brilliant lap time in Qualifying and was very fast in the race without making any mistakes. As a whole, we were a perfect team. Our bike worked fantastic and my crew were unbelievable in the pit stops.

"The pit stop drama with the Axle was really frustrating, but we worked as a team and bought the bike home in one piece, no crashes, and plenty of laughs. It's as good as it gets and a great way to finish the Endurance season off.‰Û

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