CHALLENGING DAY FOR VAN DER MARK AT ARAGON
The Honda WorldSBK Team has contested the third-round opening race of the 2016 FIM Superbike World Championship at MotorLand Aragón. Nicky Hayden had a solid race to sixth place, while Michael van der Mark experienced his first DNF of the year.
The two riders did not enjoy their best qualifying of the year so far. After starting directly from the second session, Michael van der Mark was on his way to a quick lap, before losing the front of his bike on the kerb outside of turn 7. The young Dutchman and his bike slid on the asphalt, with van der Mark having to quickly get back on his feet and run off the track to avoid any major accident with oncoming riders. The first one to come past was his team mate, who brilliantly moved out of the way and slowed down, eventually losing the chance to improve his position.
Michael van der Mark had a great start to the race from row 4 and was running in sixth position in the early stages of the encounter, before a crash at turn 5 on the fourth lap ruled him out of contention. The 23-year-old Dutchman was unable to remount and therefore had to retire.
Michael van der Mark (DNF): “It surely hasn’t been my best day. This morning I was feeling really good but then in Superpole, when I put my Q tyre on, I was exiting turn 7 and my front wheel was up in the air; as soon as it came back down I basically had no grip at all and crashed out. The boys did an outstanding job in fixing the bike in such a short time. I had a good start to the race and was able to ride with the front-runners, but straight away I felt I didn’t have the same level of grip I had in practice. I had to push a bit more with the front and this is why I crashed again at turn 5. It’s a big shame for today, because we had a chance for a very good result. Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to redeem myself.”