Race one witnesses Cudlin on top
RAAJIV TRIPATHI DOHA
ALEXANDER Cudlin got back into winning ways, claiming the first race of the fifth round of the Qatar International Road Racing Championship on Friday.
As a support event to the MotoGP weekend, the 15-lap race turned out to be a one-man show for the Australian Cudlin, who overtook pole rider Mashel al Naimi in the third lap and held on to the lead, powering his Suzuki GSXR home by more than 9 seconds.
Nina Prinz of Germany, also onboard Suzuki GSXR, took the second place, with 31:36.633 time.
Saeed Ibrahim al Sulaiti of Qatar was third in 32:37.259.
After Naimi qualified for the race in the first spot and Cudlin and Prinz also picking the remaining front row places, the race was expected to be a hot battle.
Naimi, who is back to QIRRCH after two years in the Moto2, led in the first two laps. But he lost the front spot to Cudlin, he tried to work up more pace. However, his bike seemed to have developed some mechanical snags and he began losing the pace. Later, in the eighth lap, he was passed by both Prinz and Sulaiti, who was using Honda CBR. The more the race progressed, the more he slipped down the order. After Cudlin won the race, Naimi was more than two minutes behind the winner, taking the eighth spot eventually! Paola Cazzola grabbed the fourth spot ahead of Indonesian trio of Doni Tata Pradita, RafidTopanSucipto and Dimas Ekky, all on Yamaha R6.
Ian Maund of the Great Britain was ninth and Indian Ravikumar Deepak took the 10th spot on Yamaha R6.
QMMF thanks Commercial Bank, Doha Earlier, in a press conference, QMMF President Nasser bin Khalifa al Attiya expressed his deep gratitude to Dorna Sports CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta, Commercial Bank Deputy CEO Abdulla al Raisi and Alfardan Group General Manager Mohamed Kandeel for their support to the season-opening race of the MotoGP.
Commercial Bank of Qatar has been the title sponsor since the start of the Grand Prix racing in Qatar. Dorna Sports is the commercial rights holder of the MotoGP.
Alfardan Group has been supplying official BMW cars to the prestigious event in the Middle East. Besides, Alfardan Group also sponsors one BMW car and bike during the raffle draw on the final of the Commercialbank GP of Qatar.
Attiya supports QMMF team Attiya, who is also vice-president of the International Motorcycle Federation (FIM), threw his weight behind the QMMF Racing Team after the first free practice.
“We have Anthony West, one of the best international racers. We have Nasser al Malki, our wild card entry and the hero of the fans here in Qatar, and we have Elena Rossell, the only lady racer in motorcycle Grand Prix racing.
This is a marvellous moment in the history of our team and it will be a very exciting weekend for QMMF and for motorcycle racing in our country,” continued the QMMF President.
“Our best wishes go to all our riders, but especially to Elena who is competing at our home Grand Prix despite a painful injury.
Having a female rider in our world championship team has been our goal for a long time, because we want to show the world that we are serious about developing top woman riders in Grand Prix racing. We’ve worked successfully with female riders in the Qatar championship and in the Endurance world championship, and now we are the first team to offer a lady the opportunity to ride a full Moto2 world championship season.
“We want to encourage women to compete on world level and it is part of my responsibility as vicepresident of FIM to open up such opportunities. At the same time, we show the world that we are a very open-minded country and that we believe in the right for women to live up to their true talents.
Women are not only there to hold umbrellas – I believe that they can compete on eye level with their male rivals in motorcycle racing and that they have the same amount of talent to win!,” added Attiya.