PATA YAMAHA MAKE GOOD PROGRESS ON FRIDAY IN BURIRAM
The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team got off to an encouraging start on an exciting and close-fought Friday at Round 2 of the 2018 Motul FIM Superbike World Championship in Thailand that saw half a second separate the top ten. Michael van der Mark impressed in the heat and humidity at the Chang International Circuit to end the day in seventh position on the overall timesheets, incredibly just 0.242s off the pace of the fastest rider.
Van der Mark worked his way steadily through the opening day in Thailand, with the 25-year-old Dutch rider making good progress as he managed to improve in each session. He eased his way into FP1, finishing in 12th overall with a 1:34.765. The 2014 WorldSSP Champion then stepped up a gear in FP2, improving by over seven-tenths to end the 40-minute session with a 1:34.068, which saw him move up to fifth overall. In the final track session of the day, van der Mark made some tweaks to his Pata Yamaha R1 and managed to shave another half a second off his time, to finish Friday in seventh overall and automatically make it through to SP2 on Saturday.
Michael van der Mark: “I’m really happy with today! We started quite solidly this morning but kept on improving bit by bit and it was pretty clear what I needed for the second session. We went out looking for rear grip but didn’t really find much, so we changed the bike a lot, then I found the grip and I was getting faster and faster. I was feeling quite good, I only felt that we need to make some small changes, so that’s what we did for the third session and I went out on used tyres and at the end of a longer run, I was still quite fast, which is a good sign for the race. I am happy to have put in a really fast lap at the end and we are looking forward to tomorrow! We have few things to tweak, but with the times so close, it should be a very exciting race.”