TOP TEN FINISH FOR VAN DER MARK IN RACE 2 AT LAGUNA SECA
Michael van der Mark rounded off a challenging weekend at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with a top ten finish in Race 2 in Sunday’s round 8 of the 2017 FIM Superbike World Championship. Michael van der Mark crossed the line less than half a second behind team mate Alex Lowes in tenth to add to his eighth-place finish from Race 1.
Van der Mark enjoyed a good start off the line from fifth on the grid but found himself dropping down the order in the first few corners as he also struggled for initial pace. By the end of the first lap, he was in eleventh place and being pursued by his teammate Lowes. He was passed by Lowes at the final corner at the end of the fifth lap, in a move that saw him lose drive onto the main straight and drop down to 13th. The 24-year-old Dutch rider recovered well and fought back to overtake Stefan Bradl for 12th on lap 11.
He then set his sights on hunting down his teammate Lowes. For the rest of the race, he pressured his teammate, never leaving his back wheel and showing incredible consistency in his lap times. Try as he might he could not get past Lowes, but with other riders retiring and a number of crashes, he battled all the way to the end and finished the race in tenth place, just 0.497s behind his teammate to secure 6 vital championship points. Van der Mark is now in seventh place in the champion standings with 129 points.
The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team now head into the summer break, although both Michael and Lowes are competing for the Factory Yamaha Racing Team at the Suzuka 8 Hours on the 28th-30th July. They return to WorldSBK action on the 18th-20th August for round nine of the 2017 FIM Superbike World Championship at the Lausitzring.
Michael van der Mark: “It was tough today, I felt a had a good start but straight away from the first lap I didn’t have a good feeling with my R1. It is quite strange because we changed a lot again for the race. It has been a tough weekend; the only really positive session was Saturday morning but then the track temperatures were a lot cooler. As soon as the temperature started rising we struggled a lot. It is difficult to understand why we can do the same pace from the first to the last lap but not be quick enough at the start. We have to understand why this is and of course, we are not happy, but we will work hard during the break to ensure we come back fighting at the Lausitzring.”