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  |   News Racing

The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team enjoyed an encouraging start to round ten of the 2017 FIM Superbike World Championship on Friday despite tricky conditions due to high winds and a bumpy track at Portimao. Michael van der Mark made good progress throughout the day to finish in ninth place and making it directly through to SP2 on Saturday.

Van der Mark eased his way into FP1, building his feeling on his R1 around the bumpy and undulating 4.592 Autódromo Internacional do Algarve in the windy conditions. He finished FP1 in seventh-place after setting a 1:44.452, but there was more to come in the afternoon. The 24-year-old Dutch rider made a breakthrough in his setup towards the end of FP2 to improve dramatically to a 1:43.854, just 0.177s behind his teammate Lowes, and finished the day in ninth overall, happy with the progress made.

Michael van der Mark: “P9 looks worse than it is, especially because this afternoon I struggled with changing direction on the bike but towards the end, we made a good step and I managed to improve my lap time quite a lot. We just need to find a little bit more pace and to improve the grip with the rear, if we can do this we are able to do quite a good and consistent pace. I am happy to be in SP2 again and I think we can be reasonably satisfied with today, but looking for more tomorrow.”

Free practice 1

Free practice 2