THE HONDA WORLDSBK TEAM GOES ONE BETTER AS VAN DER MARK IS SECOND IN RACE TWO
The Honda WorldSBK Team leaves Phillip Island on a high note as Michael van der Mark delighted the Australian crowd today with a second place finish at Phillip Island in race two – his career best result so far in the series. Van der Mark had another great start to the race and showed once again a great pace as he comfortably followed both factory Kawasaki riders around the 4.455km fast and flowing Australian venue.
After moving up to second place, the 23-year-old Dutchman made a successful overtake for the lead on lap 12, which he kept for another six laps. In the final stages of the race, Van der Mark did not lose touch with the leading duo and, as Davies crashed out at Honda corner while trying to take the lead, he moved up one place and retained the position at the chequered flag.
Michael van der Mark (2nd): “I got a great start and found myself behind Tom and Johnny. All I wanted in the first part was to save the tyres, so I let them stay ahead. When Tom made a mistake I got up to second place and the pace improved a lot straight away. I didn’t want to lead but I got a good slipstream out of the last corner and passed Rea on the straight. I just tried to do my race at the front but then I saw on the big screen at turn 10 that the group was really big, so I tried to break it a little bit by pushing harder. It did work out, but I knew the last two laps would have been difficult for me.”
“When Johnny and Chaz passed me I could hold on quite OK, I wasn’t really scared of them pulling away. Chaz tried a couple of moves for the lead and the last one didn’t work well; I tried to stay as close as possible to Jonathan but I made a small mistake, he didn’t so that was it. To finish second today is an amazing result, it’s been a great weekend and the team did an incredible job to improve the bike. We couldn’t have had a better start to the season.”
As the first round draws to a close, Michael van der Mark lies second in the championship standings with 36 points. The second round of the FIM Superbike World Championship will take place in a fortnight’s time at the Chang International Circuit in Thailand.