THIRD ROW START IN THAILAND FOR VAN DER MARK
Pata Honda rider Michael van der Mark will start from the third row of the grid for tomorrow’s two second round World Superbike championship races at Buriram in Thailand. Van der Mark set the eighth fastest time in Superpole with a lap of 1m34.514s. With temperatures slightly cooler for today’s proceedings, most of Free Practice 3 this morning was lost to rain, restricting track time for the rider on his CBR machine. However, the warmer weather is expected to return for tomorrow’s two 20-lap races at the 4.554km Chang International circuit.
Michael van der Mark – P8, 1m34.514s: “I’m quite happy today. We missed 45 minutes of practice this morning and I wasn’t able to improve the time so I went directly into Superpole 1. But FP4 was much better and I was able to improve the feeling with the CBR and also the lap time, which made me much happier. In Superpole 1 I started on the race tyre and then the qualifier but that didn’t bring much. We did the same in Superpole 2 and I was able to improve my time quite a bit. I’m happy with our position – I think the gap to the guys at the front is a little bit to far but I think our race pace is OK.”
Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator: “We hoped for dry weather but unfortunately this morning it was wet and we lost some valuable track time. Michael went through to Superpole 1 and that gave him a little more track time. He improved a lot in the last free practice too and his race pace is not looking so bad. He qualified eighth and the gap to the front looks quite big but I know his race pace is better than that.”