CHALLENGING FRIDAY FOR PATA YAMAHA AT LAGUNA SECA
The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team put in a determined performance on Friday at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for round eight of the 2017 FIM Superbike World Championship. Both riders put in the effort under the scorching California sun with Michael van der Mark improved late on to finish in 13th place. Michael arrived at Laguna Seca looking to build on his excellent performances at Misano that saw him lead for the majority of Race 1 before a tyre failure, and then a fine fourth place finish in Race 2.
In FP1 the 24-year-old Dutch rider struggled to find a good feeling with his R1 on corner entry but he got his head down and worked hard, improving his time throughout the session to set a 1:25.280 on his penultimate lap that saw him finish in 14th place. In the afternoon, van der Mark tried a number of setup options with his team to improve the feeling with his R1 but unfortunately, just as he appeared to be finding his rhythm, the second red flag came out. When the action resumed, Van der Mark gave it everything in an effort to break into the top ten and secure his place automatically in SP2, but despite knocking over half a second off his best time to set a 1:24.755, he had to settle for 13th place overall and a spot in SP1.
Michael van der Mark: “It has been a difficult day. I spent the first couple of laps getting used to the track on the R1. After that, we found ourselves struggling all day with the same problem, to be honest, the feeling of the bike on corner entry. It was difficult because we tried many things but we just could not find the right direction. After the second red flag, we had one flying lap and I pushed as hard as I could to try and make it through to SP2 and although I improved, it didn’t quite work out. We have to understand why the changes we are making are not working at the moment and we will study the data overnight. If we can get the bike turning tomorrow it will be a lot better and I will be trying my hardest to improve.”
Free Practice 1