PATA YAMAHA’S VAN DER MARK STORMS TO RACE 2 VICTORY IN JEREZ
Pata Yamaha WorldSBK rider, Michael van der Mark, stepped onto the top step of the podium for the first time in 2019 today, after a superlative performance saw the 26-year-old take a resounding victory in WorldSBK Race 2 in Jerez. The race win, the first for a Yamaha rider this season, was the perfect way to round out what was an incredibly successful Spanish weekend, in which van der Mark finished on the podium in all three WorldSBK races.
Despite starting the Superpole Race from sixth on the grid, van der Mark managed to fight his way through the field to finish second, which secured him the front row start he needed to launch his challenge for the victory in Race 2 this afternoon. The Pata Yamaha rider got a good start and, after a brief battle with Melandri and Toprak Razgatlioglu in the early stages, the Pata Yamaha rider then shadowed reigning World Champion, Jonathan Rea, as the pair quickly pulled away from the pursuing pack at the head of the race.
Seven laps into the race, as Rea’s pace started to drop and the chasing group began to close again on the two leaders, van der Mark made his move, outbraking the Kawasaki rider into turn two to take the race lead. The Pata Yamaha rider rode faultlessly for the remainder of the race, increasing his lead over Rea with every lap to win by more than three seconds. The victory, the first for Yamaha this season, consolidated van der Mark’s third place in the championship standings, which he now holds with 188 points.
Michael van der Mark – Pata Yamaha WorldSBK – P2/P1 – “What an amazing day! I was a bit upset with myself in the Sprint Race because I tried some optimistic overtakes that lost me a lot of time but in the end, I managed to finish second, which put me on the front row for Race 2. I got a good start but then Johnny passed me quite quickly and I was happy to sit behind him and conserve my tyres after Alvaro crashed out. But his pace wasn’t quite what I wanted to do and I could see the group behind were starting to catch us, so I decided to put in a pass and see if I could pull away, which I did. It’s been an incredible weekend and the bike has been great, with only very small changes required. I’m really happy with the progress made with the bike, so many thanks to the team and to Yamaha for all their hard work.”