VAN DER MARK DENIED VICTORY FIGHT IN MAGNY-COURS
Pata Yamaha WorldSBK rider, Michael van der Mark, looked set to claim his second win of the 2019 season in WorldSBK Race 1 at Magny-Cours this afternoon until, with just two laps of the race remaining, the Dutchman lost the front under braking for Turn 5 and crashed out of the lead. Van der Mark remounted to finish 13th.
Technical set up for the race, which was held in the driest conditions seen at Magny-Cours so far this weekend, was a calculated gamble given the lack of dry practice time, but it was obvious from the start that van der Mark’s crew had gone in the right direction for both the track and the conditions.
Starting from the front row of the grid having qualified second in Superpole, van der Mark was in the thick of the action from the off, making aggressive moves to get the better of a five-way battle and take the lead seven laps into the race. As soon as he hit the front the Pata Yamaha rider immediately upped his pace and pulled a gap on the four riders disputing second place. Van der Mark maintained an advantage of around a second to his pursuers until reigning World Champion, Jonathan Rea, managed to close the gap with four laps to go.
One lap later van der Mark made an error under braking for Turn 5, running in a little bit too aggressively, losing the front and sliding off, handing the race lead to Rea. The Pata Yamaha rider remounted to finish 13th and is determined to make amends in the two races tomorrow.
Michael van der Mark: Pata Yamaha WorldSBK – P13 – Championship P5 – 247 Points: “I made a mistake today. I was starting to struggle with the front a little in the later stages of the race, but I had too much brake and too much lean angle going into the hairpin at Turn 5 and I went down. I’m really sorry for the guys, who did an incredible job with my R1 given the lack of dry track time this weekend. There was a bit of chaos in the first few laps, but the bike felt really good and I felt really strong. Towards the end I was pushing, maintaining my rhythm, but I didn’t feel on the limit. I could see Johnny was closing, but I wasn’t stressing about that, but just trying to keep my own pace. The crash was down to a mistake on my part, but we know we have a good set up for the dry, which we’ll work to improve further tonight, so I’ll be out to make amends in the two races tomorrow. I enjoyed myself a lot today apart from the crash, the R1 was really fun to ride so thanks to Yamaha and my crew for a great package.”