News 29 Mar 2009

ECONOMY CLAIMS CUDLIN’S AMA RIDE

Syndicate Motorsports Management press release:

ESP/ Venemotos’ Damian Cudlin’s AMA assault took a hard hit in Fontana on the weekend, after the young Aussie suffered a nasty crash in Friday’s opening qualifying session. Cudlin knew from the outset that Fontana would be a difficult event for him and his ESP/Venemotos Team. With his times tumbling in the qualifying session, Cudlin sat just a 1/10th of a second from a Superpole berth before crashing heavily after coming together with a slower rider. Suffering a number of abrasions and losing a chunk from his elbow requiring 7 stiches, Cudlin struggled just to compete for the remainder of the weekend. Even more detrimental to Cudlin’s rookie AMA campaign was the realization that promised sponsorship money, money that was to fund Cudlin’s side of the ESP/ Venemotos garage, was no longer coming.

“Fontana was always going to be difficult for me, having so little time to learn my way around the place, but crashing in qualifying took most of the wind out of our sails.” Cudlin explained. “I wasn’t sure if I’d even be able to race, but we needed that purse money so I soldiered on in a lot of pain. From that point on it was difficult for all of us. It’s been a bit of a disastrous weekend in terms of results, and it’s dampened our spirit’s a bit, but no one said this would be easy and it’s up to us to turn this around and raise our game.” Cudlin enthused. “My guys will be doing everything they can to improve our program, while I work on getting myself fit for our next assault. We’ve just got to keep grinding away, I’m sure there’s light at the end of this tunnel.”

The ESP/Venemotos Team, like so many other teams this year, has to deal with the new economic reality that a sponsor is not going to make good on their promise of support. According to Evan Steel, “I’m ready for this economy to turn around. As we’ve all seen and read about this season, another last minute sponsor pull-out is going to keep another talented rider off the track. Once we became aware that the sponsor for Damian’s side of the garage might not come through, we tried to see if we could keep that side of the garage going based on purse winnings. Unfortunately, the down economy also hammered the AMA purse, reducing it from $5000 to $3000, effectively putting Damian’s side of the garage in the red. Damian’s a talented rider, but we simply can’t afford to keep self-sponsoring his effort.”

The ESP/ Venemotos team must now re-group and tackle the challenge of finding a replacement sponsor for the Cudlin side of the garage to fund the remainder of the season, or at least select events. With the reduction in purse money and contingency programs, Damian and the ESP crew are now exploring all avenues that can keep Damian on the track and fighting for the rest of season. Robertino Pietri and the ESP/ Venemotos crew will continue on for the rest of the season, unaffected by this sponsor pullout.

Anyone interested in supporting their effort should contact:

Murph (Michael Murphy) at
Syndicate Motorsport Management
+1 831 464 3458
[email protected]

Team ESP/ Venemotos Yamaha:

Evan Steel Performance is a small, personal, specialized shop located in Tucson, Arizona that deals with all aspects of motorcycle road racing. ESP bikes have had some of the highest trap speeds in their classes at AMA Nationals, as well as the highest top speed at start/finish at the 50th annual Macau Grand Prix. In 2008, ESP scored a very rare privateer podium at the VIR AMA National in the Superstock class with Chris Peris. ESP is open to any level of racing, from basic race prep to planning a season at the Nationals.

ESP can be reached at (520) 294 3050 or www.evansteelperformance.com

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