Features 27 Aug 2016

Cycle 360

An all-access Australian view of road racing, presented by Alpinestars.

It’s a massive weekend for Australians competing in the FIM Endurance World Championship finals today, vying for the title in the Oschersleben 8 Hours.

Entering the round Alex Cudlin’s Team April Moto Motors Events has an eight-point advantage at the top of the standings, ahead of SRC Kawasaki and Broc Parkes’ YART Yamaha Official EWC Team.

And not too far further back is Damian Cudlin’s F.C.C. TSR Honda squad, currently fifth and only 12 points outside of the series lead in what is the Japanese effort’s first attempt at the full series.

Source: Supplied.

Source: Supplied.

With eight hours of racing remaining in the championship, there’s a long way to go and this title could be anyone’s at the front. So far in Germany, it’s Parkes’ team that has been setting the benchmark through practice and qualifying.

And that’s without MotoGP star Bradley Smith’s help, since he badly injured his leg in a practice fall on Thursday. It was just what he didn’t need prior to the British GP at Silverstone next weekend.

Still, Parkes has been blindingly fast all season and teammate Marvin Fritz is no slouch either. They’re in the box seat to win this thing if they can hold it together.

“I’ve have been really fast here all weekend and Marvin is really fast here as well,” Parkes explained. “We always do a good qualifying, but this time I think we also have a much better race pace and we have been focusing all weekend on the race and the fuel consumption and the tyre wear of the race tyres.”

For Alex Cudlin it’d be a remarkable achievement to win the EWC crown. It’s a privateer team and a really nice story after claiming consistent results at Le Mans and Portimao. They’ll start from 10th on the grid.

The EWC series has been gaining momentum each year and there has always been a strong contingent on Aussies within the frame, so it’s neat to see them getting the attention they deserve more and more.

Source: Supplied.

Source: Supplied.

Elsewhere this week, the news that Eugene Laverty has signed for Milwaukee Aprilia to contest WorldSBK in 2017 all but confirms Australian Josh Brookes’ exit.

The mail is that he doesn’t have a seat for next season after a really difficult year, so whether we see him in the world championship, back in Britain or elsewhere for next year remains to be seen.

It’s been a curious case for Brookes this year because after winning the BSB title for Milwaukee Yamaha last year, we definitely expected he and the team to be far more competitive, but he just hasn’t gelled with the S 1000 RR.

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