Qatar: Al Malki and Cudlin share wins in the first round of Qatar SuperBike Championship
Losail, Sun 6th Oct-: In Race 1, the riders encountered a red flag after five laps with a multiple crash and five riders involved, nobody was injured. On the re-start Qatari rider Nasser Al Malki knew that he had to push to the maximum to win the race. His strategy was to stay in the second place until the last lap when he decided to overtake Alex Cudlin to win the race. The defendant champion, Alex Cudlin pushed so hard in the first five laps trying to make a gap between him and Nasser that he destroyed the tyres with Cudlin finishing in second position. The third place of the podium was for Mishal Al Naimi who had a tough battle with Nina Prinz. Algerian rider Walid Benterki was the first rider in the LARRS (Losail Asia Road Racing Series) to cross the checkered flag.
In the second race of the day, Cudlin didn’t have a very good start but in the middle of the race he managed to be in front position and finished in first place.
“I didn’t have a good start, I am struggling to get off the line on the Kawasaki bike but I worked my way throughout the middle of the race and I passed Nasser and win the race. It is really nice to win after the problem I had in race one but I really need to improve the bike set up as I still have chattering problems but for sure we can fix it for the next rounds,” Cudlin said after the race.
Nasser Al Malki finished in second, “I am happy for the second race. At the beginning I was leading the race but in the sixth lap, Alex was pushing so hard and passed me. We stayed very close for some laps but then there were slow riders that forced me to create a gap and it was not possible to overtake Alex, but I am happy for this second place, it is good for the championship and I hope to win the two races in the next round,” Al Malki stated after the podium.
The third place in the podium was for Nina Prinz. “In this second race my plan was not to go so fast at the beginning and push a little more at the end so that Mishal could not pass me. I am really happy for this podium and for the whole weekend, I feel very sorry that I crashed the Kawasaki bike and had to ride with the ‘old’ Suzuki’ ,” Nina said at the end of the race.
In the LARRS category, the winner was again Walid Benterki from Algeria. The female rider from Slovenia Manca Katrasnik finished in second place and the Czech Republic rider Roman Kraus was third in the podium.
At the end of the day, Mr. Nasser Khalifa Al Attiya (QMMF President – LIC General Manager – FIM Vice President) had this to say, “‘There is a big number of participants from different nationalities so this proves that this championship is growing and we are in the good line. There is a big challenge for all the participants to reach the podium as the competition is getting harder each time. With the great performance today of the female riders, this will encourage them to fight and improve in the following rounds. I am convinced that more female riders will join us. Moreover, we are also succeeding in the women planning as we work with Mrs. Marielou Cruz who is part of the FIM Women Commission who she is pushing to have female riders taking part in our championship. I also would like to thank the organization of the event, all the logistic side of the Ministries for their support and all the riders and drivers who participate for showing us their good performance and great shows.”