P9 FOR VAN DER MARK ON OPENING DAY IN PHILLIP ISLAND
Michael van der Mark has ended the first free practice day of 2019 at Phillip Island in ninth place. Both 50-minute practice sessions today were held in cool but dry conditions, with the wind making its presence felt around the southern part of the Australian circuit. Van der Mark used this morning’s first free practice to confirm the set up direction from the two day test earlier in the week, before running a race simulation to evaluate rear tyre endurance this afternoon.
Van der Mark managed to improve his lap time in the cooler conditions this afternoon, but struggled with excessive tyre wear towards the end of his long runs. Michael will work through the data with his crew this evening, to identify an alternative set up that puts less stress on the rear tyre around the particularly abrasive Phillip Island circuit.
Michael van der Mark – Pata Yamaha WorldSBK – P9 – 1’31.049: “Today was tough. It’s a bit strange because we finished the two-day test on Tuesday with a good feeling with the bike, but then this morning the feeling wasn’t the same, despite very similar conditions. This afternoon we did two short runs first to test two different set up options on the bike before checking rear tyre endurance with a race simulation. I felt good on the bike during the long run, I gained a lot of confidence, but there are still a couple of things we need to improve, especially if we are to get the rear tyre to work over full race distance.”