STRONG RESULT IN RACE ONE AT JEREZ FOR VAN DER MARK
Michael van der Mark has scored a fifth place in today’s 20-lap, twelfth-round WorldSBK race one at Jerez de la Frontera in Spain. Courtesy of today’s results, the two Honda WorldSBK standard bearers managed to further consolidate their positions in the championship standings, with fourth-placed Van der Mark now 30 points ahead of his teammate Nicky Hayden in fifth as the American ended the first race of the weekend in fourth place. Coming from eleventh on the grid to fifth on lap five – when he got the better of Jordi Torres – Michael van der Mark started to close in on his teammate. As the two riders entered the final lap, they were separated by only half a second. The 23-year-old Dutchman did all he could to make a final move on Hayden and the two ended up almost side by side at the finish line, with Van der Mark coming short of a fourth-place finish by just 0.039s.
Michael van der Mark (5th): “During Superpole I put in a really fast lap on race tyres and, when I put the qualifier on, I had a big moment, but I was still happy with my lap-time. At the end, everybody was so fast so I got pushed down the order. I had quite a good start from P11 and I was lucky that some guys ahead of me crashed out of the race. It took me a couple of laps to pass Torres, but then I was able to make up some ground to Nicky. I didn’t have the best of feeling with the front towards the end and, despite being very close to him, I didn’t want make a mess by trying to out brake him. I hoped he would have run a bit wide in order to catch him at the finish line but that didn’t happen. Fifth is a good result for us today, especially given our starting position; we’re still quite safe in fourth in the standings and I am looking forward to race two.”