Weber-Diener Racing’s Damian Cudlin took a pair of 7th place finishes at the third round of the IDM Superbike Championship on the weekend.
Following on from his Kawasaki debut just a fortnight ago at Zolder, Cudlin headed into the Oschersleben round with more experience on the Dunlop shod ZX10R. With improved suspension and upgraded brake parts, Cudlin’s increased pace was obvious in practice- often within the top 5.
Cudlin advanced to the Superpole shootout session on Saturday and posted the 7th fastest time for a 3rd row start on Sunday.
In cool and windy conditions, Cudlin made a stellar start in the opening Superbike race, slicing his way around the outside in turn one and holding 4th position for the opening laps. The leading Ducati pairing of Fores and Neukirchner stretched away at the front while a battle ensued behind them. Cudlin swapped positions lap after lap with Smrz, Ranseder and Mackels in an entertaining battle for 4th.
5 laps from the finish, Arie Voss suffered a heavy crash, causing a red-flag and a premature end to an entertaining race. Cudlin was forced to settle for 7th.
“It was a pity the red-flag came out early but the race direction made the right decision. It was a close battle for 4th and I was right in the mix this time but I was suffering from some terrible chatter which prevented me from making any kind of attack. I was holding onto the front of the bike with the skin of my teeth most laps!” Cudlin explained.
For race two, Cudlin and the Weber-Diener crew opted for a significant set-up change in a bid to reduce the chattering problem.
With another sensational jump off the line, Cudlin slotted into 4th again in the opening laps and looked stronger from the start, although as the laps wore on Cudlin’s set-up change took it’s toll on the tyres and his pace slowed near the end of the race, eventually taking another 7th place finish.
“It was a bit of a gamble making such a drastic set-up change but we’re still learning how this bike works on these tyres and we have to try these things. In the end we probably went backwards but it was worth a shot. The opening laps were good again which proves we have the potential, we just need more time with this bike and we need to be patient- especially me” Cudlin admitted. “I always want to win but this won’t happen overnight. The team is doing a great job though and we are faster each time we go onto the track. It’s all positive in our camp and I’m enjoying it.”
Cudlin and the Weber-Diener Kawasaki Team will be back on track at round 4 of the IDM Superbike Championship this weekend at Nurburgring, Germany.