Damian Cudlin Doubtful For Tomorrow's Race

MAPFRE Aspar rider left with severe abrasions to stomach after spectacular free practice crash

I am in a lot of pain. The crash this morning took me completely by surprise and it was pretty aggressive.

Damian Cudlin

A drop in temperature and increase in wind led to a crash-strewn day of MotoGP action at Phillip Island today, with MAPFRE Aspar stand-in rider Damian Cudlin amongst the victims. Casey Stoner took a comfortable pole position with a series of fast laps in the final fifteen minutes, leaving Jorge Lorenzo – the only man who can prevent him from sealing the title tomorrow – trailing in his wake and Dani Pedrosa, Marco Simoncelli, Nicky Hayden and Alvaro Bautista to fight for the remaining front row positions.

Cudlin made a positive start to his first weekend at Phillip Island on a MotoGP bike yesterday and after making gradual improvements he was looking forward to taking another step forward this morning. However, after just three laps of the session he was thrown out of the seat of his Ducati in turn four, landing badly on his left hip and suffering a nasty abrasion all the way around his left side from his buttock to his stomach. After being treated in the medical centre the Australian showed great courage and strength to take part in this afternoon's qualifying session although he was only able to complete twelve laps due to the pain and he will be reassessed in the morning before taking the decision whether to race.

17th Damian Cudlin 1.36.666 (12 laps): “I am in a lot of pain. The crash this morning took me completely by surprise and it was pretty aggressive. It was a real shame to crash so early on and especially to cause so much damage. We had been doing a good job up to that point but afterwards it was difficult to get any useful data. I took a heavy blow to my hip and lost a lot of skin from my left side. They have done a good job in the clinic to get me going again and have advised complete rest to give me the best possible chance tomorrow. I'll try to go out in the warm-up, see how I feel and take it from there.”