PATA HONDA RETURNS TO WSBK ACTION IN SPAIN
After an extended summer break of almost seven weeks, the 2015 World Superbike championship reignites this weekend (18-20 September) at Jerez in Spain with Pata Honda riders Michael van der Mark and Sylvain Guintoli eager to get back into action on their Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP machines. Van der Mark performed well last time out and, although a recurring electrical issue halted his race one progress in Sepang, the 22-year-old SBK rookie from Rotterdam in the Netherlands was able to push hard to fifth place in race two and he lies seventh, just behind his team-mate, in the championship table. Van der Mark has been training hard and riding his Honda CRF450R motocross bike during the summer months to remain as sharp as possible.
A tighter and more technical circuit than Sepang, the 4.423km Jerez circuit in Andalucia in southern Spain was built in 1985 and has hosted World Superbike races since 2013.
Michael van der Mark: “Of course, Jerez holds some very special memories for me because it’s one year since I won the World Supersport title there on the CBR600RR. It’s been a mixed first year learning to ride the Superbike with some good results but also some technical issues which have made things difficult sometimes. The guys have had some time back at the workshop since Sepang and I know they’ve been working hard at eliminating the problem. It’s been a long break for us all, but I’ve been training hard and riding some motocross. Now I’m ready to get back on the CBR and I’m really looking forward to riding again at Jerez. As Sylvain’s results also showed, the bike worked very well at Sepang which has not been a great circuit for us before, so we are optimistic for this weekend.”