VAN DER MARK BOUNCES BACK WITH BRILLIANT FOURTH IN ASSEN
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK riders Michael van der Mark and Alex Lowes turned around a challenging race weekend in style today the two putting all their race craft into their YZF-R1s to take fourth and fifth respectively in the second race of the Dutch FIM Superbike World Championship round at Assen.
The home crowd were out in force in Assen rooting for their national hero Van der Mark and the young Dutchman was determined not to disappoint. A frustrating DNF yesterday had put the motivated Yamaha rider back in 11th on the fourth row of the grid, with a pack of fast riders in front to take on. With turn one of the opening lap of the race out of the way safely, Van der Mark got straight down to business, treating the thousands of fans to flashes of orange charging through the pack from the special Alpinestars leathers and R1 livery he wore this weekend for the King’s birthday.
Using his YZF-R1 to full effect he was able to carve from 11th all the way up to fourth, each pass sticking and holding. By lap nine he was less than half a second from third and quick enough to challenge for the podium. Determinedly challenging Chaz Davies for multiple laps, a couple of big ‘moments’ at fast points of the track, combined with intense pain in his right arm following yesterday’s big highside, tempered the run. Van der Mark kept it consistent and took his orange liveried R1 across the line in fourth to the delight of the crowd, signing off in style after a challenging start to a special home race.
Michael van der Mark – 4th: “I’m pretty happy with that! I did what I could and I was happy with my race pace, every time I overtook a rider I made it stick. I was closing on Chaz Davies, then I had a couple of scary moments at one of the fastest points of the track. It is one of my strongest points at this circuit, so I knew I could make up a lot of time there, but by then the wind had changed and the bike was maybe balanced a little too much towards the rear so the front was in the air.”
“I had a big wobble, after that I decided to do my own race as I had a big gap to the rider behind and to be honest, after yesterday’s crash, the last four or five laps I had so much pain in my arm. The Doctors did a great job to give me some painkillers which allowed me to race, and if you had said I would get fourth position before the race, I would have taken this very happily!”