THIRD ROW FOR VAN DER MARK IN ITALY
Michael van der Mark will start tomorrow’s two fifth-round World Superbike championship races from the third row of the grid after setting the ninth fastest time in this afternoon’s Superpole at Imola in Italy. The 22-year-old Dutch ace qualified fastest from Superpole 1 after finding a much-improved setting on his Pata Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP machine. However, lower grip levels in Superpole 2 did not allow van der Mark to match his SP1 time or take a higher grid position for tomorrow’s two 19-lappers at the 4.936km Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari.
Michael van der Mark (P9, 1m48.225s): “I’m quite happy with today because we found a big improvement this morning and then another in FP4. It’s good that we were able to make this progress but, to be honest, we are still too far off the front guys. But we found more than a second from yesterday so that’s very positive. Superpole 1 for me was pretty good and I had a strong feeling with the qualifier to get through to Superpole 2. Unfortunately, the second Q tyre just did not work like the first one and that was quite disappointing. But compared to yesterday I’m happy and looking forward to tomorrow’s races.”