SOLID START IN IMOLA FOR VAN DER MARK
Pata Yamaha WorldSBK rider Michael van der Mark has made a solid start on the opening day of proceedings at Round 5 of the FIM Superbike World Championship in Imola. Van der Mark was quick to find a set-up on his R1 to suit the demands of the 4.936 km Imola track this morning in FP1, which he finished with the sixth best lap time. The Pata Yamaha rider and his crew continued to refine the set-up of his R1 throughout this afternoon’s second free practice session, with improvements allowing van der Mark to better his previous best lap time to again finish sixth. The 26-year-old was happy with the progress made on the first day in Imola, a track that has proved unkind to van der Mark in the past, as he looks to continue his good form following a double podium in Assen.
Pata Yamaha WorldSBK – P6 – 1’47.214: “A solid start today. Imola is always a difficult track at which to find a good set-up, especially coming from Assen, which is very different in character. This morning I felt quite strong from the start and we managed to improve the bike further during the session. This afternoon we initially went a little bit in the wrong direction, but we stayed calm, wound back the changes slightly and, at the end, I felt really strong on the bike again. We had an issue with getting the bike stopped but, again, we managed to find some improvements in this area. My time would have been better but for hitting traffic on my fastest lap, but I’m really happy with the bike now and I think we can still improve further tomorrow. Overall, it’s been one of my best days in Imola so far.”