FRONT ROW IN SULTRY SEPANG FOR VAN DER MARK
Michael van der Mark will start tomorrow’s sixth-round World Supersport championship race from the front row of the grid after setting the third-fastest lap time in this afternoon’s qualifying session at Sepang in Malaysia. The 21-year-old Pata Honda rider from Rotterdam in the Netherlands lapped the 5.548km circuit in a time of 2m08.961s – a little more than half a second off the pole position time of French rider Jules Cluzel. However, having completed a race simulation in this morning’s third free practice session, series leader van der Mark has confidence in the race pace of his Pata Honda CBR600RR machine.
Michael van der Mark: “Yes, I’m really happy now I’ve had a chance to cool down! Qualifying actually didn’t go exactly to plan because we had a little issue on the bike and I was not able to get out at the beginning of the session. But the guys solved the problem quickly and I had some tyres to try to do some fast laps. I did some, and I think I could have done better, but I got held up many times by other riders. This morning in free practice we showed that we had a really good race pace and I’m pretty confident that tomorrow we can aim for the podium.”
Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator: “Third place for Michael is fine because his race pace is looking quite strong and I think he can be one of the podium candidates again.”