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Cudlin called-up for Phillip Island

Damian Cudlin called-up by Aspar for Phillip Island.
Following a surprise MotoGP debut, as a stand-in for Loris Capirossi at Motegi, Damian Cudlin will be back on a Ducati Desmosedici for his home Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island this weekend.

29-year-old Cudlin has been confirmed as a replacement for injured Aspar Ducati rider Hector Barbera, who broke his collarbone in Japan.

"This is a fabulous opportunity for me, I honestly can't believe it," said Cudlin. "A week ago I made my debut in MotoGP and that was already a shock.

"It gives me great pride to be competing in MotoGP, the best championship in the world, and especially with such a great outfit as the Mapfre Aspar Team. My first experience in Japan was unforgettable and now just two weeks later I get another opportunity.

"I am really happy, I consider myself a very lucky person and I want to make the most of every single minute of this opportunity.

"The level of the category and the machinery is extremely high, as I found out in Japan. I had never been to Motegi before and had to learn a lot in a short space of time but I am sure I can start out at Phillip Island at a higher level. I know the circuit and that will help me to make a confident start."

Suter test rider Cudlin, who normally races in the World Endurance and IDM championships, began the Japanese GP without any prior experience of an 800cc MotoGP bike or the Motegi circuit.

The Australian reduced the difference to the front of the premier-class field in every track session, a 5.9sec deficit in first practice being cut to a creditable 2.7sec by his best lap in the race.

Cudlin didn't reach the chequered flag, falling from 14th place - just behind local Honda wild-card Kousuke Akiyoshi - on lap 15 of 24. A first MotoGP finish, and almost certainly points, will therefore be his priority this weekend.

Cudlin finished seventh in his only previous grand prix appearance, at the 2010 German Moto2 event.

Related Pictures

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Cudlin,  Japan MotoGP 2011
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Why not - Unregistered

October 07, 2011 7:59 PM

@ CrashTestDummies, "Why???? He did nothing to impress last time out & binned the bike. Surely there is a bit more legitimate talent out there somewhere" Why well for one thing he got in more laps than the official Ducati number 1 in the race, and he gave it his all.

moto2rulz - Unregistered

October 08, 2011 1:48 AM

Anyone who finishes 7th in a 1 off moto2 race deserves a ride on a moto gp bike, even just for a reward, give the guy a break he did not beg for this ride did he? Even though he crashed he was not embarassing himself by taking it easy or pulling out of the GP all together. Makes complete sence to put a Aussie on a vacant racebike in a Aussie race don't you think?

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