Alex Cudlin joins SERT
Australian rider Alex Cudlin is Vincent Philippe and Etienne Masson’s new teammate. He will be in the saddle of Suzuki Endurance Racing Team’s GSX-R 1000 for the rest of the 2016-2017 season.
Suzuki Endurance Racing Team was shocked and deeply saddened by the death of Anthony Delhalle on 9 March. The squad has now chosen Alex Cudlin to help it go after its 16th FIM EWC title. Alex – the brother of Damian Cudlin, who is competing with F.C.C. TSR Honda – is an experienced rider. He has raced with SERT previously, in 2013, and rode the Team April Moto Motors Events Suzuki last season (the squad placed third in the FIM EWC 2016). Alex Cudlin will be riding the GSX-R 1000 #1 together with Vincent Philippe and Etienne Masson for the remainder of the season.
SERT to use 2016 bike
Suzuki Endurance Racing Team is awaiting a few racing parts to finish preparing its GSX-R 1000, and will therefore be at the start of the 24 Heures Motos on the 2016 model. “We have to make sure we don’t mess up our great start to the season at the Bol d’Or, and keep our points gap to the competition open,” says Dominique Méliand. The team manager of Suzuki Endurance Racing Team has decided to hit the track at the 24 Heures Motos with the GSX-R 2016 – a competitive machine, all said; it won the Bol d’Or last September. It was a tough call for the factory-backed Suzuki team, but also their only option in order to compete for their 16th world title. “The 2017 machine shows a lot of promise performance-wise, but it’s not finished,” says Méliand. “We still haven’t received a few chassis parts that are key for top performance in Formula EWC. The ball is in the Japanese camp.”
SERT hopes to run the 2017 version at the 8 Hours of Oschersleben in Germany on 20 May. But the team is targeting a podium place at the 24 Heures Motos, according to Vincent Philippe. “Okay, so we lack the weaponry, but that could play in our favour. Often, at SERT, we’re even stronger when we’re not the favourites.”
Junior Team Le Mans Sud to trial 2017 Suzuki
So we’ll have to watch the performance of Junior Team Le Mans Sud Suzuki – SERT’s satellite team, competing in the Superstock class – to size up the new GSX-R 1000. “It was easier to prepare the machine for our category,” explains team manager Damien Saulnier. “Baptiste Guittet, Robin Camus and Cédric Tangre will get to use the new-generation Suzuki – more powerful, more responsive and a lot livelier, and well matched to the competition. We’ll also be functioning as a kind of test bench for SERT over a 24-hour race.”
Preliminary tests for the 24 Heures Motos are scheduled for 28 and 29 March, followed by free practice for this (second) round of the FIM EWC 2016-2017 on Thursday 13 April.