PATA YAMAHA READY FOR BATTLE IN BURIRAM
The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team are ready to resume the fight in Thailand this weekend for Round 2 of the 2018 FIM Superbike World Championship at the Chang International Circuit in Buriram. Michael van der Mark recorded a double top-ten finish in Australia and is confident that he can improve on these results in the heat and humidity of Buriram.
After an incredibly dramatic opening round of the WorldSBK season in Australia – which saw tyre issues in Race 1 lead to a flag-to-flag Race 2 with compulsory pit stops for all riders – the Pata Yamaha team move on to the Chang International Circuit for Round 2, a track that both riders enjoy and have scored podiums at in the past.
Van der Mark had a slightly trickier opening weekend of the season as he suffered from a major tyre issue in Race 1 at Phillip Island while battling for the podium, which forced him to drop through the field and eventually finish in ninth. In Race 2, he once again was involved in the podium fight but was slightly caught out by the enforced pit stop before recovering to cross the line in seventh. The 25-year-old Dutch rider loves the Buriram track, finishing on the podium in 2016 and then riding to a superb fourth-place finish in last year’s Race 1 – just his third race with the Pata Yamaha Team – before being forced to retire in the red-flagged Race 2. The 2014 WorldSSP Champion feels that his R1 suits the Buriram track and is confident that he can improve on his performances in Australia and add to his tally of 16 points that currently sees him eighth overall in the championship standings.
The 4.554km Chang international Circuit is located in the Buriram Province in the East of Thailand, about 400km from Bangkok, and is a mix of fast flowing segments, combined with slower technical sections that reward smooth riding. Known for its incredibly passionate fans, this is the fourth consecutive year the track will host a WorldSBK round after opening in 2014 and making its debut on the calendar in 2015.
Michael van der Mark: “I am really looking forward to Round 2 in Thailand. For sure, if you just look at my results, Phillip Island was disappointing but we took a lot of positives from the weekend and I am sure that we will be a lot stronger here in Thailand. I really like riding in Thailand and enjoy the Buriram circuit a lot. We have been working really hard in-between rounds to make sure we can hit the ground running on Friday morning and we will be giving it our all to secure the best possible results this weekend!”