SECOND PLACE MAINTAINS VAN DER MARK’S CHAMPIONSHIP CHALLENGE
Pata Honda’s World Supersport championship leader Michael van der Mark finished second in today’s seventh-round race at Misano World Circuit ‘Marco Simoncelli’ in Italy, his sixth successive podium finish, which gives him a 28-point lead in the series as it enters the second half of the season. The 21-year-old Dutch rider got a good start from the front row of the grid but his race almost ended at the beginning of lap three when another rider ran wide at Misano’s first turn and re-joined the track, almost colliding with Van der Mark. The Pata Honda rider took evasive action but lost a position before beginning a charge back to race leader and eventual winner Jules Cluzel.
Michael van der Mark: “We’ve had a really good weekend. We didn’t come last year with World Supersport but right from the start the bike was working really well. We improved every session and today I had a good pace. The start was OK and I was running third but after two laps, another rider ran wide and, in my opinion, he should have rejoined the track from the safety road. We almost touched and then PJ Jacobsen passed me. When I got back to second position I tried to chase Jules Cluzel but he was really fast and made a perfect race. It would have been nice to stay with him from the beginning and have a nice fight – I tried everything to get to him but it wasn’t possible. I think overall we have worked really hard for the weekend and now I’m looking forward to Portimao which I think will suit me and the bike.”
Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator: “For Michael, the whole weekend was good. He, too, was held up at the beginning of the and then, when he had clear track, he started to close on Cluzel. In the end he had to let him go but he brought it home in second which was really good.”