VAN DER MARK CHALLENGES FOR RACE 2 VICTORY AT MISANO
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team rider Michael van der Mark signed off from the first half of the season with a superb second-place finish in Race 2 in Misano on Sunday at Round 9 of the 2018 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship.
Again the riders faced hot and humid conditions for Sunday’s encounter, with the track temperature rising to 45 degrees Centigrade ahead of the race. Michael van der Mark started from pole position after finishing in fourth place during Saturday’s Race 1.
Van der Mark lost out in the run to the first corner to Xavi Fores, but took the race lead on lap three after the Spaniard suffered a technical problem. The 25-year-old Dutch rider increased his pace and managed to pull out a gap as the pursuing pack battled for position behind him, but was then chased and eventually caught by reigning World Champion Jonathan Rea. A fierce fight for the victory ensued but with two laps to go the Irishman made his move and forced his way through. Despite constant pressure to retake the lead, van der Mark was unable to make a final challenge and had to settle for second place at the line after a thrilling race. This result sees the 2014 WorldSSP Champion remain third in the overall championship standings with 248 points, 30 points behind second-placed Chaz Davies.
Michael van der Mark, Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team – 2nd +0.334s: “My start wasn’t that great so I followed Xavi Fores for a couple of laps, but I think he had a problem and I passed him. Once at the front I tried to do my own pace and find my own rhythm. I thought I would be a bit faster, but in the hot temperatures it was difficult. I saw that the three riders behind were involved in a big fight, so I just tried to stay as consistent as possible. I managed to pull a bit of a gap but then lap-by-lap Johnny Rea was getting closer and he eventually passed me when I made a small mistake. I could follow him and stay close for the last two laps, but I didn’t quite have enough to overtake him. A bit disappointed to miss out on the win but second is really good for the championship and a nice way to go into the summer break.”