DAMIAN Cudlin was a late withdrawal from last year’s Troy Bayliss Classic after his wife fell ill.
However, all is now on track for tomorrow’s event at Taree Motor Cycle Club’s Old Bar Roadside Circuit and Cudlin is determined to put on a good show.
Cudlin rode in the inaugural event in 2013 but admits his results were somewhat underwhelming. This time around he believes he has a bike that will roar him into contention.
“I’ll be in there trying anyway,” he said.
Cudlin nominates Bayliss as the rider to beat. However, he was one of a number of riders who tested at Gunnedah last weekend on a track that is similar to Old Bar. He said the American contingent will also give plenty of cheek tomorrow.
“They’re going to be fast,” he said.
Cudlin enjoyed his first experience riding in the classic.
“It’s a good event,” he said.
“They get a big crowd out at the track. It should be the same this weekend so hopefully we can put on a show for them.”
Cudlin started his racing career at the Old Bar track. The sport has taken him around the world and he was based in Germany for a number of years.
But these days he’s happy back living in Cundletown, although he still rides in Europe.
“I’ve missed too many family birthdays and Christmases because I was living away,” he explains.
“So it’s good to be back living here. There’s a bit of travel involved, but that doesn’t bother me.”
Cudlin has signed with Yamaha and will be riding in the European Superbike Championship this year.
He’ll be in Italy next month for the launch of Yamaha’s new bike.
“I’m also hoping to ride with Yamaha in the World Endurance Championship,” he said.
“The details haven’t been fully financed yet. But I’m hoping to sign the contract when I’m in Italy.”
Cudlin has also gained sponsorship from Saxby’s Soft Drinks for tomorrow.
“Sponsors are hard to find and it’s great that a local firm like Saxbys will back a local rider,” he said.
Cudlin’s brother, Alex, will miss tomorrow’s classic.
He has commitments in Qatar, where he’s defending the Qatar Superbike Championship.
He’s won the title there for the last four years, which is a record.
Paul Berg from Saxbys Soft Drinks wishes Damian Cudlin all the best as he prepares for Saturday’s Troy Bayliss Classic
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