Sibling rivalry

THERE'LL be plenty of sibling rivalry in tomorrow's Troy Bayliss Cup, the feature event on the Troy Bayliss Classic program to be raced at the Old Bar Roadside Circuit.

Brothers Alex and Damian Cudlin will be among the quality 36 strong field. Damian raced in the event last year, while this is Alex's debut.

"I had to fly to Qatar the next day last year and the team wasn't keen on me racing,'' Alex explained.

"But there's a break in my calendar for this year - I don't go overseas for four weeks, so I'm looking forward to racing - it's going to be huge.''

Damian made the final in 2013 - and that in itself was an exceptional effort.

"I broke my ankle in the first heat,'' the 31-year-old explained.

"So I had to ride with my ankle strapped for the rest of the day. It was pretty hard.''

Both are unsure how they'll fare.

"I'm hoping to make the final,'' Damian said.

"But there are plenty of good riders there an it's not going to be easy. The American dirt trackers - well, this is what they do for a living, so they'll be tough.''

Alex believes getting the settings right on his bike will be the key to success.

"But there are going to be some fast guys there. Some of them have spent a lot of coin on their bikes.''

Alex, 28, nominates Bayliss as the rider to beat.

"He's got his bike honking at the moment,'' he said.

"Troy's been riding at the track a bit this year. I'd say he and last year's winner, Mick Kirkness, will be the main ones.''

However, family bragging rights are also spurring the brothers on.

"Yeah, I'm going to have to beat Damian,'' Alex said.

"He's been going pretty fast, but beating him will be my priority.''

His elder brother agreed.

"If he beats me I'll be hearing about it at every family barbecue forever,'' he laughed.

Damian has been racing in Europe in recent years but he's hoping to be able to spend more time in Australia.

"The season's been shortened so I'm looking at staying here and travelling over for races - much the same way Alex does,'' he said.

"Being in Europe is good, but there's no place like home.''

Hook hoping for some better fortune

AUSTRALIAN Superbike rider Josh Hook from Taree is hoping for better fortune at tomorrow’s Troy Bayliss Classic at the Old Bar Roadside Circuit.

The 20-year-old was a finalist in the classic last year, despite being hampered by a knee injury.

“I crashed in one of the 450 finals and I hurt my knee,’’ he recalled.

“It was my left knee and being all left hand corners it was pretty hard, so that was a bit of a bummer.’’

Hook made his debut in the Australian Superbikes this year with Team Honda.

 The Bayliss Classic will be a great lead-in for what he hopes will be another busy and successful season.

“It was a good race last year and I’m looking forward to the next one,’’ he said.

Hook was among the riders who was able to grab some practice at the track for tomorrow during the launch of the classic last month.

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