FIRST SUPERBIKE TEST FOR VAN DER MARK
Sylvain Guintoli and Michael van der Mark have completed their first shakedown tests on the Pata Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP during a private test at Jerez in Spain which concluded yesterday afternoon. The four-day test was plagued by rain showers, including a completely wet day on Thursday, which limited track time for the two new Pata Honda World Superbike riders. However, both expressed satisfaction at their first rides on Honda’s flagship production sports bike.
For young Dutch flyer Van der Mark it was an entirely new feeling to experience the raw power of a SBK-specification race bike, despite winning the last two editions of the famous Suzuka 8-hour World Endurance race on Honda’s CBR1000RR Fireblade. The 2014 World Supersport champion, 22, started the Jerez test with a minimum level of electronics in order to fully appreciate the full-power Fireblade, with traction control and other rider aids gradually increased during the four days of testing.
Michael van der Mark: “Well, when I first got on the bike on Monday it was certainly different, but I’ve really enjoyed this first test! The weather hasn’t been so great but I started on the first two days with no electronics, just to get a feel for the bike and a new level of power. On Wednesday I used a bit more of the electronics and we made some really big changes just to see what each part of the system can do, so that was really useful. I was quite happy with everything this week and also happy with my lap times on old tyres. I also used a qualifying tyre on Wednesday and was able to go around a second faster on that, which is the expectation I think. Now, it’s back to training through December before getting back on the bike in the middle of January, which is going to be a really busy month.”