DRAMATIC RACE TWO IN ASSEN ENDS WITH A PODIUM FINISH FOR MICHAEL VAN DER MARK
The Honda WorldSBK Team has completed the fourth round of the 2016 FIM Superbike World Championship with another podium finish, this time courtesy of Michael van der Mark. The young Dutchman was third at the chequered flag at the end of an unpredictable 21-lap race two at the TT Circuit Assen. This is the fourth podium of the season for van der Mark, and the third out of four WorldSBK races he has contested so far in the Netherlands. The race was declared wet by the race organisers despite the absence of rain, with the two Honda riders opting for the use of full-wet Pirellis. After a great start, Van der Mark was part of the leading group and exchanged positions several times with his team mate Nicky Hayden, while moving up the order. As the race got near its halfway point and the track surface dried, riders started to make their way back to the pits in order to switch to slicks. Van der mark came in at the end of lap nine.
After the whole field went through the pit-stop procedure, Michael found himself in third place, although eight seconds away from the leading duo of Rea and Sykes. With no chance to bridge the gap to the front, the 23-year-old from Rotterdam decided to consolidate his position and ride his Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP home in third.
Michael van der Mark (3rd): “This third place feels like a win for me, especially after yesterday’s result. The support from the crowd was really amazing; I’m quite sure there were a lot more people here today compared to the past two years. As soon as we started the warm up lap, I realised that, at some point, we would have to change tyres. We were ready for the pit-stop, as we are one of the few teams who always practice it at the end of every session. When Jonathan came past me I couldn’t stay with him, but I wanted to wait one more lap before going into the pits. I came in the following lap and it proved to be a good choice. I rode the rest of the race basically on my own, as the guys at the front were just too far ahead. I want to thank the team for the amazing job they have done, my sponsors and all my fans.”