VAN DER MARK SECOND IN YAMAHA 1-2 ON SUNDAY IN BRNO
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team’s Alex Lowes wrapped up a challenging MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship round in Brno today by winning style! Michael van der Mark added the finishing touches to the perfect race day, bringing his YZF-R1 home in 2nd position to make it a Yamaha 1-2 – the first 1-2 finish for the team and for the new generation R1.
Lowes took the holeshot into turn one at the front of the pack, and only briefly allowed teammate Michael van der Mark past for a few corners as he settled into his rhythm. As the second lap unfolded he was immediately back in front, and working hard towards keeping his YZF-R1 ahead. Marco Melandri briefly took the lead with 14 laps to go, but quickly made an error, running off and leaving Lowes to strike ahead.
Back in second, Van der Mark was able to keep Lowes close but the race was the British rider’s to lose. A faultless race pace followed, Lowes maintaining and finally growing the gap to van der Mark behind to just over two seconds at the finish line. The perfect performance delivers Lowes his maiden WSBK victory, and Yamaha’s third victory in the last four races.
Van der Mark had picked up his pace from yesterday’s challenging conditions and looked comfortable taking off from pole on the grid today. The young Dutchman was unfazed by the greasy surface, calmly moving back into second after Melandri ran off the track ahead of him and race leader Lowes. Clearly benefiting from the race winning confidence of the last round, van der Mark was able to keep within 2s of his teammate to the finish line, leaving the pack behind to secure a memorable Yamaha 1-2 on the podium.
Michael van der Mark: “This morning in warm up we tried to change something on the bike to get a better feeling with the front and in the end it didn’t feel as good so we went back to yesterday’s setting. We only changed the front tyre and at the beginning of the race I struggled to get a good feeling with it. Alex passed me, Marco passed me; then he made a mistake. I was following Alex, he had such a good pace and we managed to pull away from third place so I was happy about that. I tried to close in on him and fight to win, I made it but in the last few laps he was stronger. I’m really happy with this podium and really happy for Alex for his first win. I think it’s a great end for the whole Pata Yamaha Superbike Team.”
The race results bring van der Mark up to third in the championship standings on 196 points, 17 ahead of Tom Sykes in fourth and just nine behind Chaz Davies in second.