VAN DER MARK SHINES IN SPANISH SUN
Michael van der Mark will start tomorrow’s two 11th-round World Superbike championship races from the front of the second row of the grid after setting the fourth fastest time in this afternoon’s Superpole sessions at Jerez in southern Spain. With temperatures in the low 30s, van der Mark impressively topped Superpole 1 and then, in Superpole 2, fired his Pata Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP around the 4.423km Jerez circuit in a time of 1m40.956s, just 0.6s off the record pole position time of Tom Sykes. Van der Mark, 22, had found a step forward in the settings on his CBR in the earlier FP4 session, in which the Dutch rider also finished fourth after improving his overall pace for tomorrow’s two 20-lap races.
Michael van der Mark – P4: “I’m really happy because in the last couple of races we’ve had really difficult Superpoles and today I finally found the grip on the qualifying tyre, which gave me a completely different sensation. It’s probably the first time this season that it’s worked well in qualifying. I knew that as soon as I could find some grip I could go really fast and we showed that today. I worked with Jonathan [Rea] at the beginning of Superpole 2 which really helped me a lot to get up to speed and I think we helped each other a bit. Normally we struggle a little when the temperatures go up but we’ve found a set-up now which works well when the track is warmer. The CBR feels really good, everything is working well and the race pace is quite OK. We really needed a good qualifying though because we’ve had good race pace before but ended up starting from bad positions. The start in tomorrow’s races will be very important but it was also important to be near the front of the grid; so I have a good feeling for the races.”