POSITIVE START TO OPENING ROUND FOR PATA YAMAHA
In relatively cool and completely dry conditions the Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team got its 2017 season underway with two 60-minute practice sessions at the 4.445km Phillip Island circuit. For Michael van der Mark his first race weekend experience as an official Yamaha rider saw him 12th fastest on the time-sheets, but working on finding his best race set-up as a priority. He feels there are still even better machine settings to be found, particularly on corner entry. Van der Mark will use the final free practice session tomorrow to make ready for Superpole and then the opening 22-lap race of the year, which takes place at 15.00 local time.
Michael van der Mark (12th / 1’31.351)” “We worked well but I am not completely happy with how today went. I did a long run which was not too bad. We are quite consistent, which was good, but I was hoping to find more speed to go for another fast lap and get into Superpole 2 directly. It did not work out, we struggled with entry into corners and this problem also came along during the tests. I think for tomorrow we should try a big step with the bike and hopefully we can improve. The wind was different today compared to the test a few days ago but you just have to be careful on the first couple of laps to get used to it. Turns one, three and the final one were the most difficult ones for the wind, but it is not too bad if it is consistent. I think the weather has been the best it has been because in previous years it was too warm.”
Free Practice 1