Road Racing

Disappointment In France For Alex Cudlin

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Australia‰Ûªs three-time and defending Qatari Superbike Champion, Alex Cudlin, suffered a disappointing start to his 2014 campaign to secure a second Superstock Endurance World Cup title on the weekend, at the Bol d‰ÛªOr 24 Hour, held at Magny Cours in France.

Alex's QMMF team were forced to retire from the race in the ninth hour with engine trouble.

Cudlin and his QMMF Kawasaki ZX-10R teammates, German Nina Prinz and Qatar‰Ûªs Mashel Al Naimi, had high hopes for the race, qualifying fourth overall in their class, once the average of the three rider‰Ûªs qualifying times had been taken into account.

The fickle French weather lived up to its reputation at Magny-Cours, with rain greeting riders for the Le Mans start, in which Cudlin was elected to start for QMMF.

The Aussie Endurance veteran kept out of trouble, to pit the team‰Ûªs ZX-10R in second place in the Superstock class and for the following eight hours the team would slide up and down the leaderboard, battling for First position in the class.

However, in the ninth hour, the team‰Ûªs ZX-10R suffered a bent valve, signaling the end of the race for Cudlin, Prinz and Al Naimi, putting the team in a difficult position to take the World Cup in 2014.

‰ÛÏWe had a good bike for the race and were really confident of a decent result." Cudlin commented. "I wasn't making any mistakes in the very tricky conditions and either were my team mates ‰ÛÒ there were riders flying off everywhere and broken bikes and bodies on the track were something we were getting used to seeing in this race.

"The race was kept pretty close, because we had a lot of safety cars cleaning up the messes of other team‰Ûªs crashes, slowing down the racing, but then when we had our engine drama, we knew it was all over for us.

"To say it‰Ûªs disappointing is a bit of an understatement. Taree to France is a hell of a long way to go, only for the bike to blow up and not get a result, but that‰Ûªs racing. You have to take the good with the bad. We‰Ûªll regroup and come back ready for Germany.‰Û

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