Damian Cudlin’s stint as a MotoGP replacement rider will come to an end after today’s Valencia Grand Prix and while results have been difficult the Australian is glad that he had the opportunity to race for PBM in the premier class.
Qualifying was another difficult session for Cudlin with the 30 year old qualifying 24th on the grid. Having struggled with braking problems on Friday Cudlin tried a new direction with the setup in FP3 but reverted back to Friday’s base setting for qualifying:
“It’s hard to keep putting a positive spin on it when you’re struggling like this but there are some positives,” said Cudlin. “The changes we made for the qualifying session did help. We went down a path today that was the wrong way and for qualifying I gave up on that and went back to yesterday’s setting in qualifying. It was better and I got confidence back in the bike straight away and found some time.
“It’s hard though, when you look at the timesheets I’m sure people are wondering ‘what’s he doing out there’ but I’m trying my guts out and pushing as hard as I can. It’s just a bit of a struggle but the boys are good to work with.”
Speaking after qualifying Cudlin said that “I’ll always be able to say that I was a MotoGP rider” but with one race left in 2013 his eyes are set on finishing the year as well as possible with a strong performance:
“I reckon that there’s a couple if front of me, Scassa and Staring, that I could have a bit of a scrap with in the race. Scassa might have a bit of pace on us but I’m not sure if he can do that through the race. I’m hoping that if I can put four guys behind me that it would be a good result so that’s the plan. The thing that we’re struggling with is that when the tank is full this bike is a real handful to ride.”