VAN DER MARK CHALLENGES FOR VICTORY IN MAGNY COURS THRILLER
After a tough Race 1 yesterday, Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team rider Michael van der Mark bounced back impressively today, with a superb ride to third place in a thrilling Race 2 encounter at Magny-Cours.
Michael van der Mark’s crew made significant changes to the set up of his Yamaha YZF-R1 ahead of Race 2, in a bid to solve some of the issues he experienced in the race yesterday. It was a carefully calculated gamble, but one that paid dividends for the 25-year-old this afternoon.
Starting from the head of the second row of the grid van der Mark made a fast and aggressive start that saw him slot into second place behind early race leader Chaz Davies. The Pata Yamaha rider then managed to fend off a concerted attack from Jonathan Rea, but the newly crowned World Champion eventually forced his way through and set off in pursuit of Davies, with van der Mark in his slipstream.
Van der Mark kept Rea and Davies in his sights until the closing stages of the race when the two leaders managed to pull a small gap on the Pata Yamaha rider, leaving him to cross the line in third for his tenth podium finish of the season. Van der Mark remains third in the championship standings, but now trails second-placed Davies by 26 points with four races remaining.
Michael van der Mark: “After such a difficult race yesterday, I’m really happy to finish off the Magny-Cours weekend with a podium today. We changed a lot on the bike ahead of warm-up this morning, but still I didn’t feel really comfortable on the bike. So Lez and my guys made a few more changes before the race; it was a bit of a gamble, but it paid off. I made such a good start, probably my best of the season, and I able to be aggressive from the first lap. I tried to get past Chaz, who was also quick off the line, but I couldn’t quite make it happen. Then Johnny passed me and I for the first time this weekend I felt like I had the bike I needed to fight with top riders. They were a bit stronger than me at the end, but I’m really happy with the improvements we made overnight and to have finished on the podium at the end of what had been a difficult weekend.”