VAN DER MARK IN CONTROL AT JEREZ
Despite two months away from his Pata Honda CBR600RR, Michael van der Mark began round nine of the World Supersport championship at Jerez in Spain in sparkling form today. The 21-year-old Dutch rider and current series leader finished on top of the time sheets in both free practice sessions despite, like many other top riders, being unable to improve on his morning time as track temperatures soared to 55 degrees. With similar weather conditions expected at the 4.423km Jerez circuit tomorrow, the afternoon qualifying session to determine grid positions for Sunday’s race, in which the destination of this year’s world title could be decided, will be as important as ever.
Michael van der Mark: “I’ve got to be quite happy with that after such a long break. I haven’t ridden the CBR for eight weeks so it took some getting used to again but we were fast from the first session. I had a good feeling with the bike and we tried some other things this afternoon, but the track temperature was a little bit too high. We lost a bit of grip but the overall feeling is good and, after the long summer break, we are up to speed again.”
Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator: “From the first lap this morning to the last lap this afternoon Michael has been really fast. He has one or two things to sort but he’s calm and in control, so it’s been a good start to the weekend.”