HARD-FOUGHT SEVENTH PLACE FOR VAN DER MARK IN RACE 1 AT LOSAIL
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team rider Michael van der Mark brought his Yamaha YZF-R1 home in seventh position to pick up vital championship points in today’s thrilling WorldSBK encounter, run over 17-laps under the floodlights at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar. Despite experiencing some pain in the latter stages of the race from the injury to his left wrist sustained in his FP1 crash yesterday.
Van der Mark endured a tough opening race in Qatar, having missed out on set-up time due to a crash in the early stages of FP1 that left him nursing a painful left wrist injury. The Pata Yamaha rider got a good start from the third row of the grid, but was unable to make up places on the opening laps as he struggled to finish the corners.
Despite experiencing some pain in his wrist towards the end of the race, van der Mark managed to maintain contact with the battle for sixth position that was being fought out ahead of him. As he crossed the line to start the final lap both Chaz Davies and Xavi Fores slowed unexpectedly, allowing van der Mark through into seventh position, which he held to the chequered flag.
The Pata Yamaha rider remains third in the championship standings, but is now just 23 points behind second-placed Davies.
Michael van der Mark – 7th + 14.557: “I got a good start, but then it was really busy on the opening laps and I wasn’t able to make up any places. I felt reasonably comfortable on the bike and eventually managed to pass a few people, but then I started struggling to get the bike to turn and then drive out on the gas. I also had some pain in my wrist from half race distance onwards, which didn’t really help. It was a really tough race, but at the end I gained two places on the final lap and that’s really important for the championship, so we can be relatively happy with that. For tomorrow we need to make some improvements to the bike. If we can do that, and as long as I can get away from the second row of the grid in the leading group, then I’m confident we can fight for a top five finish.”