Damian Cudlin will make a return to MotoGP action this weekend in the Aragon Grand Prix, securing a berth in the Paul Bird Motorsports Team.
With American Ben Spies still on the sidelines, Yonny Hernandez was given permission by PBM to terminate his contract early in order
to join Ignite Pramac Racing for a new challenge. His ART bike at PBM will now be ridden by former teammate Michael Laverty, while 30-year-old Cudlin of Taree, Australia makes a return to MotoGP™ with the task racing PBM’s own-designed machine, both in Aragon this weekend and the Australian GP next month.
“PBM are looking forward to working with Damian at the Aragon and Phillip Island GPs, where he will race the PBM bike,” explains PBM Technical Director Phil Borley. “With his experience and knowledge, we hope to continue the development of our bike and have a positive weekend together. Unfortunately, we will not have the chance to test before the race and so the first sessions will be important for Damian to acclimatise to the bike, the Bridgestone tyres and carbon brakes. Our target will be to improve Damian’s feeling in each session and give him a bike he is confident to race.”
For Cudlin, the chance to return to MotoGP has reignited the hope of a permanent place in MotoGP; one he admits is “every rider’s dream.”
“I’m really excited about the opportunity and I can’t wait to throw my leg over the bike. I think it is something every rider dreams of doing: being in MotoGP™ and I’m no different. It’s going to be great just to be back there. I’ve had a little taste of it before, having had the chance to ride for Pramac Ducati back in 2011 and then also for Aspar Ducati at Phillip Island. I suffered a bit of bad luck in both of those outings and thought that was maybe going to be the end of my MotoGP™ chances; so to have this chance come along now has really given me a whole new hope again, that I can still get myself into MotoGP.” Cudlin explained.
Cudlin first competed on the Grand Prix World Championship stage at the 2010 Moto2™ race in Germany, in which he finished seventh. He returned to the intermediate category last year for two outings, although his only MotoGP™ roles to date came in 2011. He is now thoroughly looking forward to taking up the task of riding the PBM in-house bike, as teammate Michael Laverty switches to PBM’s ART machine that had previously been ridden by Hernandez. Cudlin will compete both in Aragon this coming weekend and at his home Grand Prix at Phillip Island next month.