News 29 Sep 2011

Cudlin given MotoGP call to replace Capirossi at Pramac Ducati

Australian contender Cudlin to make surprise premier class debut in Japan.

Australia's Damian Cudlin has been called up by Pramac Ducati for Motegi.

Australia's Damian Cudlin has been called up by Pramac Ducati for Motegi.

Pramac Ducati has announced that 28-year-old Australian Damian Cudlin will replace the injured Loris Capirossi in this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi.

Cudlin, a veteran of the World Endurance Championship, has made one previous grand prix start, in last year’s German Moto2 Grand Prix, where he rode from 22nd on the grid to an impressive seventh.

“It’s hard to put into words what this opportunity means to me,” said Cudlin, whose MotoGP experience is limited to testing the 2012 BMW-powered Suter CRT bike.

“I’ve dreamed about starting in MotoGP since I was a boy, and until now it’s been just that – a dream. Now it’s become a reality and to be honest, I’m still in shock!

“I’m under no illusions about how difficult this race will be. I’ve never ridden a real MotoGP bike before and I’ve never been to Motegi either, so realistically my expectations can’t be too high.

“I just want to do the best job I can, enjoy the experience, and just see what happens. I’ve really got nothing to lose, so why not?

“I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve this. I still can’t believe I’ll be replacing Loris Capirossi – I had posters of him on my wall as a kid.

“I just want to thank Sito Pons for recommending me, the Pramac Racing Team for giving me a chance, and also my current BMW Team for allowing me to use this opportunity.

“I hope I can make everyone proud that they took a chance with a guy like me.”

Capirossi, who will retire at the end of this season, dislocated his right shoulder for a second time this year, at Aragon.

The Italian hopes to return for the final three races, following Japan.