SOLID OPENING DAY IN QATAR FOR VAN DER MARK
It proved a solid opening day in Qatar for Yamaha’s WorldSBK racers, with four of the five R1’s finishing inside the top-ten. It was Pata Yamaha WorldSBK with Rizla rider Michael van der Mark who led the way, with the 26-year-old Dutchman ending the day fifth on combined times.
The Pata Yamaha with Rizla rider started strongly in this afternoon’s opening free practice, with Van der Mark in third as the sun started to set at the end of the 50-minute session. Van der Mark was looking for further improvements under the floodlights in FP2 but, while he posted faster lap times, he didn’t made the step forward he was expecting.
Michael van der Mark – Pata Yamaha WorldSBK with Rizla – P5 – 1’58.157: “Today has been quite good. We spent the first session getting back up to speed and I had quite a good pace at the end, despite struggling a little bit with the front feeling, so I was happy enough with that. We made some changes ahead of FP2 looking for an improvement, but they didn’t really work as we were expecting, and we need to have a think about which direction we go in ahead of FP3 tomorrow. We don’t need much, as my pace is pretty good already, it’s more about making the bike a little less demanding to ride. If we can do that in FP3 then we’ll be ready to race.”