TAREE Alex Cudlin has taken his third straight Qatar International Road Race Championship (QIRRC) title after an eventful penultimate round of the series at the Losail Circuit in Qatar.
Cudlin’s week started off with the announcement that his QMMF team would not be riding a Suzuki GSX-R1000and would instead be riding a untested Kawasaki ZX-10R for the first time. He also would be lining up against five times world champion Anthony Delhalle, who was making a return to Qatar as a wildcard riding Cudlin’s now vacant GSX-R1000.
Cudlin put his head down and immediately impressed on the near stock ZX-10R, setting a 2m04.389s lap in qualifying to sit third on the grid behind championship rivals Al Malki (BMW - 2m03.679) in pole position and Al Naimi (Honda - 2m04.369s) in second.
Cudlin’s other championship rival Prinz (Suzuki), started from fifth with a 2m05.978s lap, while Delhalle the wildcard would start fourth with a 2m05.157s lap.
The scheduled race start was delayed due to massive winds and huge dust clouds. After a four hour delay racing got underway and Cudlin had a good start in race slotting into second position. Cudlin then started to experience problems with the bike and decided second place was good enough rather then crashing. Eventually Cudlin finished behind race winner Al Malki, who took the flag with 4.1second lead.
Cudlin was happy with the result as he still getting used to the personality of the ZX-10R, which had vastly different engine and chassis characteristics to his usual GSX-R1000. Al Naimi, Delhalle and Prinz finished in that order behind Cudlin. That result netted him the 2013 title, making it Cudlin’s third straight title in a row with three races still left to go in the championship.
“That was a tough meeting, Firstly the weather was really bad and we had a few set up problems with the new bike but I’m so happy to have wrapped up the championship,’’ Cudlin said.
“It’s been an amazing three years racing here in Qatar and to win it in 2011, 2012 and now 2013 is really special.’’