He is the first ever Dutch Superstock 600 European champion, the first ever Dutch World Supersport champion, the first ever Dutch WorldSBK podium finisher and the first ever Dutch WorldSBK race winner: Michael van der Mark from the Netherlands. In 2021 he will ride for the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team in the WorldSBK aboard a new M 1000 RR. His goal? Michael: “I think all at BMW and in the team, we want to fight for the podium and the ultimate goal is to win the world championship but we have to develop the bike and be ready for the podium as soon as possible.”
After he was named rookie of the year in 2007 he became double Dutch 125cc champion in 2008 and 2009. During the Dutch TT of 2008 he made his Grand Prix 125cc debut. Two years later he was a permanent GP rider aboard a Lambretta 125 but his impressive progression ends at once when the Italian manufacturer pulls out from racing.
A switch to the WorldSBK paddock by the end of 2010 turned out to be the right one as Michael has been a revelation on the global motorsport stage since 2011. He became European Superstock 600 Champion in just his second season, won the prestigious Suzuka 8 Hours race in 2013 before 2014 saw him add the World Supersport Championship to his resume, alongside a second victory in Suzuka. A further two Suzuka titles have been added to his trophy cabinet since joining Yamaha in 2017.
Since then, Michael has continued to display the same natural pace and determination to win that delivered him early success. In 2018, he delivered Yamaha’s first victory since returning to WorldSBK competition with a spectacular double win at Donington Park in the UK. Eight more podiums throughout the season secured third in the championship.
One year later – 2019 – Michael finished fourth overall in the championship with seven podiums and one emphatic win in Jerez, despite missing three races due to injury. Last year was heavily affected by Covid-19 with only eight WorldSBK race weekends. Nevertheless, Van der Mark achieved eight WorldSBK podiums, including a victory in the Superpole race in Barcelona.
One of The Netherlands’ highest-profile sports personalities, with passionate fans due to his natural pace and ultra-aggressive riding style, Michael van der Mark has been touted as a potential future WorldSBK Champion.