CHALLENGING FRIDAY FOR PATA YAMAHA AT THE LAUSITZRING
The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team put in a sterling effort at the Lausitzring on Friday for round 9 of the 2017 FIM Superbike World Championship, despite having to deal with thunderstorms and a red flag in FP2. Michael van der Mark was unlucky to end the day outside the top ten after he was caught out by the timing of the red flag and the subsequent wet weather. The Dutch rider finished the day just 0.071s behind his teammate in 11th, meaning he will have to fight his way through SP1 tomorrow.
The team was forced to work hard to catch their competitors after missing the recent test at the Lausitzring due to the riders’ Suzuka 8 Hours commitments. Van der Mark spent the morning’s FP1 session searching for a good setup on his R1 and finished just behind Lowes in 11th with a 1:38.744. After making some changes to his bike for FP2 the 24-year-old struggled to find a good feeling on old tyres at the start of the session but once he had fitted new rubber to his R1 he immediately made a step and felt good on the bike.
He was one of only four riders to improve their times in FP2 as he set a 1:38.541. Unfortunately, just as he was about to challenge for a Top 10 position, the red flag came out and with it the torrential rain. That ended any chance Van der Mark would have to improve on his time, although it was still good enough to hold onto 11th overall on the timesheets.
Michael van der Mark – 11th – 1:38.541: “This morning was a little bit difficult as we were trying to find a better setup for the bike and it proved tricky. This afternoon we changed quite a lot and at first, it didn’t really work for me, but then we put some new tyres in and I made quite a step. Unfortunately, that was when the red flag came out and then the rain came! At that point I was 11th, which is a shame as I had the pace to get through to SP2. I think we could have improved the bike a lot more if it stayed dry but we have to live with it. One positive point was that when the session re-started it was wet and I had a great feeling with the bike, so it felt good to do some laps in those conditions as you never know what will happen on race day. We have to improve some more things on the bike, but I think we are going in the right direction.”