POSITIVE STEPS FOR VAN DER MARK IN USA
Michael van der Mark took his Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP to eighth and seventh place finishes respectively in Sunday’s two ninth-round World Superbike championship races at Laguna Seca in the USA. Van der Mark, 22, got two good starts from a lowly 15th place on the grid. Race one turned out to be a relatively lonely affair, the Dutch rider finishing in eighth place. Rain threatened the 3.61km Laguna circuit for race two and, indeed, spots began falling early in the race but they amounted to nothing. Van der Mark brought his CBR home in a creditable seventh place. He leaves California immediately to fly to Japan where he is targeting a third successive victory in the iconic Suzuka 8 Hours endurance race next Sunday.
Michael van der Mark – 8th and 7th: “It’s been quite a difficult weekend and, together with trying to learn this amazing circuit, we have struggled to get the bike set up properly, so I had to come a long way from 15th on the grid. I made a really good start in the first race and moved forward about five places. But I couldn’t keep up with the guys in front of me and ended up in a lonely and boring race for eighth. In race two I had another good start and had a better feeling with the CBR. I was able to keep pushing throughout the race so, in the end, I’m quite happy to get two solid top ten finishes. I’m in a good frame of mind for the 8 Hours now, which I’m really looking forward to.”