2017 SPANISH SHAKEDOWN PROVES POSITIVE FOR PATA YAMAHA
2017 has officially begun for the Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team as Michael van der Mark and Alex Lowes successfully concluded the first half of a four-day test scheduled on the Iberian Peninsula. Circuito de Jerez provided the opening location for the Yamaha duo’s return to their YZF-R1’s and with two full days on track under the Spanish winter sun, both riders completed extensive and important work.
Yamaha’s engineers had worked relentlessly throughout the short winter break since the end of the November tests preparing extensively modified, new-spec YZF-R1’s for the 2017 season, so Tuesday’s initial track action was more of a shakedown for the Pata Yamaha Team. Carefully evaluating the raft of upgrades and modifications, both riders found their rhythm around the 4,423m circuit as the day progressed, while the team gelled well with their new colleagues from Yamaha Motor Europe and Yamaha Motor Japan.
Focusing on chassis set up to fine-tune his feeling with his newly-acquired WorldSBK-spec YZF-R1, Van der Mark spent the first hours on track assessing the developments made since November. With the hardware in place, the Dutchman used the second day to concentrate on the electronics, completing 145 laps and utilising his teammate’s feedback from the previous sessions as well as his own impressions to create a progressive and successful overall test for the Pata Yamaha outfit.
Portugal’s Autódromo Internacional do Algarve is the concluding location for the Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team as it prepares to head west for a further two days of testing scheduled for Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th January.
Michael van der Mark (1.41,450 / 145 laps): “It’s been another busy day today. During the morning we made a big step forward with the handling of the bike and I felt so much more confident. After that we just kept trying different chassis elements to see what I prefer or not. Today proved that we are really consistent which is good but we still have to make another step. I’m sure the guys have enough data to work on to improve the bike even more so we will see what Portimão brings.”