PATA YAMAHA’S VAN DER MARK STORMS TO THE PODIUM IN PORTIMÃO
Michael van der Mark returned to the WorldSBK podium for the first time since his race win in Jerez back in June at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimão today. The Pata Yamaha WorldSBK rider bounced back from a difficult qualifying session to impress with an incredible ride from tenth place on the grid to the third step of the podium in Race 1.
A lightning start from tenth place on the grid, followed by aggressive overtaking in the opening laps, saw van der Mark quickly close onto the back of Chaz Davies in second place, with the pair having already pulled out a significant gap on the pursuing pack. The Dutchman made an early move for second place with a brave pass around the outside of the Welshman in the final turn, but Davies was able to draft past on the straight to reclaim the position. Van der Mark maintained the gap for the remainder of the race but lacked the necessary extra pace to mount a further challenge and had to settle for third at the chequered flag. The result moves van der Mark back up to third in the championship standings, just two points ahead of his Pata Yamaha teammate, Alex Lowes.
Michael van der Mark – Pata Yamaha WorldSBK – P3: “It’s not been an easy weekend and I struggled to get a good feeling with the bike in free practice. I was a bit unlucky in Superpole, where I made a small mistake, with the result that I only qualified in tenth position – so I knew a good start in the race was vital today. In the end I just went for it and managed to make up quite a few places in the first few corners, after which I was able to push on and catch Chaz in second. I made an early move around the outside him of the last turn, but he was able to blast past me on the straight and I didn’t quite have the pace to go after him again at the end. But I’m happy to be back on the podium in the first race after the summer break and it’s a nice reward for all the hard work the team have put in to get us here.”