Podium hopes crash

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“A great shame after the Team had done so fantastically this weekend and been lying in third with just two hours to go!” was all Miles needed to say.

Alex was unhurt but totally gutted, “I hit a false neutral and then it re-engaged and the bike high sided me off at turn 3, a really fast right hander. What can I say I am gutted for the Team!”

A prospective magnificent Diablo 666 post race celebration had suddenly become purely thoughts of what might have been.

However, that is racing but this has been one of Diablo 666’s best ever race meetings. Everyone in the Team were upbeat about the remainder of the season and the prospect of going to the Suzuka 8 hrs next, followed by two 24hrs races to close out the season at Oschersleben and then the Bol d’Or.

The Team now must make the decision of whether finances will allow the Team to go to the 8hrs at Suzuka at the end of July, which is followed almost immediately by the 24hrs race at Oschersleben.

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David Morillion had made his customary electric start and was lying in 2nd, then he made a slight mistake and Marko was back up to 4th with David up his exhausts.

David retook Marko a couple of laps later but could this battle be repeated through the whole race?

With one hour gone Marko came in and handed over to James Hutchins, with Diablo 666 in 5th and sister Team, Bolliger Kawasaki in 4th. The first round of pit stops for the Bolliger and Diablo 666 Kawasaki squads went like clockwork. David Morillion came in and around 30 seconds later Marko was in as well.

James immediately settled into a good pace of 1:37’s and at the end of another 32 laps, 64 in total, pitted to handover to Alex Cudlin, and as Alex thundered out of pit lane, less than 20 seconds, Patrick Muff was in for fuel and tyres.

Then between 3 and 4 hrs it all started happening, the No. 71 bike crashed, No. 99 bike had clutch problems, and No. 8 Bolliger Kawasaki had problems with gear shift. Suddenly with 2 ½ hrs to go, Diablo 666 were running in third!

Then just before the 4th hour, disaster struck. Young Alex Cudlin crashed! Valiantly he rode the bike back to pit lane but as mechanics swept into action, the damage to the machine was just too severe. Alex himself had no major injuries but his new leathers looked decidedly worse for wear. The time necessary to repair the bike to the level that it could have been raced safely was too long and Miles Hutchins, Team Principal, wisely but reluctantly made the final decision to withdraw from the race.

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MCN backed World Endurance team Diablo 666 looked set to have their best weekend of the season so far until it all went horribly wrong.

Read the British team’s full account below to see how they went from third on the track to retiring early at the Zolder 200 round of the championship leaving Castrol Suzuki to take the win.
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Diablo 666 Kawasaki arrived here in Zolder with a point to prove, that to run in the top five of this World Championship was still possible. This Diablo 666 certainly did and then disaster struck, leaving the Team to think when will their luck change for 2006……….

The Team proved that in qualifying with Marko Rohtlaan putting Diablo 666 in a magnificent 3rd on the grid. Our first ever qualifying interview. What a performance! A few eyebrows were well and truly raised!

In the race to be lying in a comfortable 3rd place behind Suzuki Castrol and Yamaha Austria with just over two hours to go, then disaster, Alex Cudlin crashed heavily putting us out of the race!

As race hour approached everyone in the Diablo 666 garage were nervous, not to be unexpected with this being our highest placed start ever, in only our 3rd full season.

12 o’clock and as the start flag dropped Marko got a fantastic start to head into the first corner in 3rd place. This he held for a couple of laps until eventually he was just overhauled by the No. 71, Van Zon Honda and No. 7, Yamaha Austria bikes.

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MCN Staff

By MCN Staff