VAN DER MARK SEVENTH IN IMOLA’S OPENING RACE
Michael van der Mark claimed a seventh place finish at the end of the 18-lap opening race at Imola’s ‘Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari’. Earlier today Van der Mark successfully made it through Superpole 1 and, after the final qualifying session, he found himself in eleventh place on the grid. The race started with a short delay due to a warm-up lap crash that involved two riders at the back of the field. Van der Mark was able to maintain his qualifying position in the early laps and, as the race entered its second half, he headed a six-way pack battling for seventh place. On the penultimate lap, Van der Mark made a successful move on his teammate Nicky Hayden.
Michael van der Mark (7th): “This morning we started with a completely different set-up compared to yesterday and the feeling with the bike was definitely better. In Superpole 1 I found a bike that was much easier to ride and on the last lap, I had no time on my dashboard. I only realised I was first when I came back to the pits and that was such a relief! In Superpole 2, I had to give up on my lap with race tyres as Sylvain (Guintoli) crashed in front of me; when we restarted we went immediately for a Q tyre but I struggled with front grip and couldn’t improve. As soon as the race started, I found myself struggling while trying to stop the bike, so I knew it was going to be a long one. In the end I managed to pass Nicky for seventh, though. I have to be happy with the points we scored today but we need to solve our issues with the front grip if we want to be further up tomorrow.”