Top 5 for Van der Mark in first race at Donington Park
Michael van der Mark rode superbly in today’s race one at Donington Park for round six of the 2017 FIM Superbike World Championship as he charged from 11th on the grid to secure a top 5 finish. Van der Mark got a solid start and immediately settled into a good rhythm. The Dutch rider was up to ninth by the end of the first lap, and producing his usual consistent lap times he also pulled off some stunning overtaking manoeuvres to fight his way through the pack.
By lap eight he was in sixth and he started to hunt down Tati Mercado in fifth, eventually catching and passing him a few laps later. When his teammate Alex Lowes came past him with three laps to go, he valiantly fought back, but eventually had to concede the position. Determined for the best result possible van der Mark managed to keep pushing right to the end, securing a hard-fought fifth position.
Van der Mark’s result delivered 11 championship points and sees the 23-year-old seventh in the championship standings with 89 points, having closed the gap to the rider in sixth to just one point.
Michael van der Mark:
“We must be happy with the result, especially after starting from 11th on the grid. On Friday we had quite a good pace and we knew we could be in the top five. The start was not really what I wanted, but I recovered and had a good first lap and step-by-step I started to overtake people. My pace was really consistent, but I was not really happy with the feeling, I struggled with the front, so I found a safe pace and kept pushing.
I was getting close to Melandri, but not close enough, and then Alex passed me and I tried to hold on to him, but I had to go over the limit so I decided to focus on my race and finish in P5. Alex’s podium was amazing, it was a really good result for the team. I hope tomorrow I can get the feeling from Friday back and also be in the fight for the podium.”