PROMISING START FOR VAN DER MARK AT ASSEN
The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team were back on track today for the first free practice sessions of the Dutch WorldSBK weekend at the TT circuit Assen with local hero Michael van der Mark made a solid start, taking eighth overall in the combined practice times. Van der Mark started his first ever run on the Assen track as an official Yamaha rider on his YZF-R1 with a special orange highlighted livery on both the bike and his Alpinestars leathers, celebrating Dutch pride the day after the King’s birthday.
He took a longer run in FP1, getting a feel for the circuit he knows well, on a machine he is still discovering. The young Dutchman was able to evaluate both the soft and harder option tyres available for the race weekend, with the harder currently working better for the race distance. He will work tomorrow morning with the team to make another step and be ready to represent Yamaha in front of the Dutch crowd in the first WorldSBK race. Van der Mark completed day one in eight overall, 0.800s from first position.
Michael van der Mark (8th, 1’36.183): “This morning we started off quite well, my first time here with the Yamaha. I made quite a long run to get used to the bike on the track, then we made some changes that made it even better. At the end I did my fastest lap time with a soft tyre, but we know that the soft tyre is probably not the tyre for the race tomorrow so we knew that in the afternoon we had to work on the harder tyre. We found some positive points with it, but in the end I want to see if we can make it work with the softer one also. I think for today I’m satisfied and I’m sure that tomorrow we can improve my rhythm and speed on the R1.”
Free Practice 1