Cudlin’s season starting to settle down after getting off to a rocky start
It’s accurate to describe Damian Cudlin’s 2009 season so far as a roller coaster ride. While making the challenging move to the states, Cudlin has also been juggling his commitments between the World Endurance Championship and the new AMA Daytona Sportbike series.
It hasn’t been an easy transition. While he faced the difficult task of learning each AMA circuit on the fly, team changes and sponsor withdrawals threatened to cut his season short, however the gritty Australian’s focus never wavered.
Now, under the wings of the Paradigm Racing Team, Cudlin is beginning to make his mark in the AMA series while continually challenging WEC’s top contenders abroad.
“It’s certainly been a challenging year so far” Cudlin admits “but it’s also been an exciting time in my career and I feel as though I’m starting to build momentum here.”
Cudlin made his AMA debut with the ESP squad at the Daytona 200 in March; however the team’s finances took a blow with a sponsor withdrawal, forcing Cudlin to the sidelines for the Road Atlanta round of the series. Despite the setback, Cudlin re-focused and grabbed a lifeline at Paradigm where he’s remained ever since.
Securing 2 Superpole starts and 3 top 10 finishes (1 top 5) from the 3 rounds he’s competed in with the team so far, Cudlin has turned his situation around to become a noticeable force in the AMA paddock.
Cudlin credits the turnaround to the support he’s received from the likes of Jason Pridmore and Mat Mladin, people who he says have ‘had his back’ here in the states, and of course the Paradigm Team, who gave him the opportunity to show just what he’s capable of.
“I’ve been fortunate to have good people around me who I really owe a lot of thanks to. JP has done a lot for me over here, and Mat’s helped too. Joe Rocket have stuck with me, as have Shark, and new sponsors like Alpinestars have come onboard which has been great.” Cudlin enthused. “It’s just slowly coming together and now I want to make the most of this opportunity Paradigm have given me and stick it further up the front.”
While building momentum with the Paradigm Racing Team, Cudlin has also been tackling WEC’s top dogs head on this season, riding for the British Phase One Yamaha Team. Cudlin recently crashed out of the lead at Oschersleben, however has produced some impressive stints in races so far this season. Preparing for his next WEC assault in Spain in July, Cudlin insists he expects his prospects to improve in the remainder of the season.
“We’ve had some bad luck in the WEC this year, but we’ve shown flashes of our potential and they were impressive. Phase One never give up and although the championship is probably out of the question, we’ve still got some races to prove what we’re made of” Cudlin explained.