DISAPPOINTING RACE 1 IN ASSEN FOR VAN DER MARK
It was a disappointing end to the first day of racing for the Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team in Assen today. The first race of the Dutch round of the 2017 FIM Superbike World Championship came to an early end for both Michael van der Mark and Alex Lowes, with both unable to continue having crashed on laps three and fourteen respectively. Local hero Van der Mark had a less than perfect start to his home race.
Having qualified in eighth on the grid in Superpole 2, The Dutchman was unfortunate to make contact with his teammate into turn one on the opening lap, running wide and dropping to the back of the pack. A quick recovery saw him making impressive progress through to 14th position on the first timed lap and climbing, before a highside on lap three brought an abrupt end to his race. Disappointed but uninjured, Van der Mark will be focused and back on track tomorrow for race two.
Michael van der Mark – DNF: “This morning in free practice I had a good pace and did a long run, I felt so much better on the bike and had a good feeling. The pace was not as fast as the podium guys but after them we are the only ones with a strong pace so I knew it would be good for the race. Superpole was good, I did my fastest lap ever at Assen but I think we just missed some acceleration a little bit between the corners. For the race, I’ve struggled a bit with my starts all weekend, so we need to find a solution for this tomorrow. At the first corner I had nowhere to go with Alex and Nicky in front of me so I went straight off track.”
“The first lap I made up a lot of places and the second also I had quite a good pace. Unfortunately from the first lap I could feel I was struggling with grip on corner entry and exit, then I think I forgot that in my hurry to get to the front and lost the rear and had a highside. I’m really disappointed; it’s frustrating because I think we could have been in the top five for sure. Tomorrow is a new day, the weather is looking even better than today, even warmer which will be good for us so I hope the home fans will support me tomorrow again.”