CHALLENGING FIRST DAY FOR VAN DER MARK AT ESTORIL
With less than a second separating the top 10 riders in the premier WorldSBK field, Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team with Rizla rider Michael van der Mark found himself on the other end of the spectrum after Friday’s Free Practice sessions at the final round of the FIM Superbike World Championship at Circuito Estoril.
The Dutchman, who is aiming to end his four-year tenure with the Pata Yamaha team on a high this weekend, wasn’t able to immediately find a comfortable set-up and ended the day in ninth position, despite being quickest of all riders in the fast fourth sector.
Van der Mark will have one final Free Practice at 09:00 (UTC+1) to finalise his official Yamaha R1 set-up before the all-important Tissot Superpole qualifying at 11:00. The first WorldSBK race at Estoril since 1993 will then get underway at 14:00.
Michael van der Mark: P9 – 1’37.775: “It’s been a difficult day for us, obviously it’s a new track and this morning I had to try out some different gearing and find a good set-up, which isn’t that easy. We’re struggling quite a lot with the balance and the turning. I thought in the afternoon we could make a good step forward, but we are still not where we need it to be. We have quite a lot of work to do for tomorrow, the differences are really small but I feel like we have to make a big step in set-up so we can improve our potential result.”