POLE AND RACE-ONE PODIUM FOR VAN DER MARK AND THE HONDA WORLDSBK TEAM IN THAILAND
Michael van der Mark and the Honda WorldSBK Team claimed pole position and a third place finish in race one at the Chang International Circuit today. It has been a historical day for Van der Mark, who aboard his Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP was able to take his maiden pole-positon start in WorldSBK after an intense 15-minute Superpole 2, which saw the 23-year-old battling out with Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea. As the race got underway though, Van der Mark didn’t get the best start from pole and was sixth at the exit of turn one.
The young Dutchman quickly recovered to third and set his sights on Rea’s second place on lap 5, before making a small mistake on the following lap at the exit of turn eight, which cost him one and a half seconds. After that, Michael tried all he could to fill the gap with the front-runners, eventually deciding to settle for third as the race entered its final part. Thanks to his third podium finish out of three races, van der Mark keeps his and Honda’s second places in the riders’ and manufacturers’ standings, respectively.
Michael van der Mark – 3rd: “I’m so happy about my first WorldSBK pole position. I wasn’t really expecting it but once I got out on track, I had such a good feeling and just went for it. The Kawasakis are usually very competitive over a single lap but today we managed to be quicker. I made a mistake at the start of the race, I was probably a bit too excited to be on pole position. I then had a problem with downshifting and went wide at turn 1, losing a couple of more places. Step by step I was able to close the gap on Tom and Jonathan. When I got really close, I had a big moment at turn eight which cost me some time and after that, their pace did not allow me to make up ground. Anyway, I was able to be consistently quick and we just need a couple of adjustments in order to be even more competitive tomorrow.”