VAN DER MARK DENIED VICTORY CHALLENGE AT MISANO IN RACE 1
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team’s Michael van der Mark was left cursing his luck at Misano for round seven of the 2017 FIM Superbike World Championship as he rode brilliantly to lead for the majority of the first race, before crashing out on lap 15 through circumstances outside of his control. Van der Mark enjoyed an amazing start, charging off the line from fifth on the grid to be in second place after the first two corners. Showing blistering pace, he then overtook Rea for the lead on lap two and set about opening up a one second advantage at the front of the field.
He set the fastest lap of the race on lap 4, a 1:35.297, and managed the gap at the front superbly, leading the race for 13 laps. He looked on course to fight for his first Yamaha victory, before disaster struck on lap 15. Through no fault of his own or the R1’s, he lost the rear and crashed out of the race at turn 13 due to a technical issue with his rear tyre, which is still under investigation. After an amazing ride, Van der Mark was left to rue the missed opportunity, but took heart from his amazing pace and from how much progress he and the team have made in recent weeks.
This result sees Van der Mark in seventh with 102 points, only eight points behind Xavi Fores in sixth position and Michael will start from 12th on the grid in tomorrow’s second race.
Michael van der Mark: “This morning we made a slight change on the bike’s geometry and I felt really good right from the start! I improved my pace and I was really happy. In SP2 my first lap on the race tyre was really good, and after that I was very consistent. I made small step forward and I was happy to qualify on the second row in fifth. In the race, I had a bit of a strange start, but it turned out to be a really good one!”
“I was second on the first lap and on the next lap I passed Jonathan Rea for the lead. I just did my pace, but it was not as strong as I expected, but it was good enough to pull away from the rest. Towards the end, I was still doing the same lap times and Jonathan was starting to close in. Then for no reason I lost the rear in a really fast corner. I don’t know what happened, but for sure it was not my fault and we have to find out what the cause of the crash was. I am happy because we had a really strong race, but I am very disappointed as this should have been my first podium, or even victory, for Yamaha.”