DETERMINED PERFORMANCE BY VAN DER MARK IN RACE ONE AT IMOLA
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team rider Michael van der Mark showed grit and determination in race one at a sun-drenched Imola on Saturday for round five of the 2017 FIM Superbike World Championship. In a shortened race, due to a red flag, Van der Mark finished the race in 7th.
After qualifying 9th on the grid Van der Mark was promoted to 8th when Tati Mercado crashed out on lap 3, and after that he set his sights on Eugene Laverty in 7th who was 2 seconds ahead. Gaining in confidence on his R1 as the race went on, he closed the gap to Laverty and pulled off an excellent move at the Tosa hairpin on lap 11 to move up to 7th. Just as he was settling into a good rhythm, the red flag was brought out for an incident with Van der Mark securing 7th place and collecting 9 championship points.
Michael van der Mark: “This morning in Free Practice 3 we had some problems with the bike, but at the end we fixed the problems and I felt quite good. I did a good lap in SP2 on the race tyre then on the qualifier I didn’t feel very happy on the bike and I had to fight a lot with my R1. I had a pretty normal start and was in a group with some other riders and at the end I passed Laverty. I felt like I was getting stronger and stronger towards the end, but I struggled a lot with turning the bike. We have to solve this problem to make the bike easier to ride on this style of track.”
“I think starting from 9th we must be happy with the points we scored. Everyone can see it is a difficult weekend for us, so every point we score we must be happy with. Usually my race pace is quite consistent and especially at this track you see some riders struggle more and more with the grip as the race goes on. I know at the end of the race I can be strong, so hopefully tomorrow we can stay closer to the front group at the start and catch some riders at the end.”