New PBM recruit Damian Cudlin says he is living every rider's dream as the Australian prepares to make his MotoGP return this weekend at Aragon.
The 30-year-old has been brought into Paul Bird's team as a replacement for Yonny Hernandez, who has moved to Pramac Ducati.
Cudlin will ride PBM's own Aprilia-powered racer at Aragon and Phillip Island, with Northern Ireland's Michael Laverty opting to switch to the full-specification ART machine previously raced this season by Hernandez.
The Aussie, whose sole MotoGP start was in 2011 when he rode the Pramac Ducati in the Japanese Grand Prix, told the official MotoGP website: “I am really excited about it. I can't wait to throw my leg over the bike. I think it is something every rider dreams of doing – being in MotoGP.
“I am no different. It is going to be great to be back there. I have had a little taste of it before, having had the chance to ride for Pramac Ducati back in 2011 and then also for Aspar Ducati at Phillip Island.
“I suffered a bit of bad luck in both of those outings and thought that was maybe going to be the end of my MotoGP chances; so to have this thing come along now has really given me a whole new hope again, that I can still get myself into MotoGP, and I can't wait.”
Cudlin, who has also competed intermittently in Moto2 in recent years, will be starting from scratch with the PBM machine but hopes his prior experience in the class will enable a smooth transition this weekend at Aragon.
“I have been to Aragon before. I rode there when I was a development rider for Kalex, going there on what might have even been the first time they opened up the track for bikes, back at the start of 2010,” he said.
“So I have been there before and I do know the track, which is handy. Obviously I don't know anything about the PBM bike I will be riding, but I do have a bit of experience with the class and with MotoGP bikes in general; I have done a lot of development work with the Suter-BMW CRT bike and I know the Bridgestone tyres plus the brakes, so I do have some experience with those things which probably helped get me the job.
“I am just going to try and focus on getting the most out of the bike and doing the best job I can; if something then comes out of it, that will be a bonus.”
Cudlin raced for PTR Honda in the World Supersport Championship earlier in September and has also been competing in the German Supersport and Superbike series plus the Endurance World Championship this year.
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