VAN DER MARK FOURTH IN SUPERPOLE DEBUT
Michael van der Mark will start tomorrow’s two opening 2015 World Superbike championship races from the second row of the grid after setting the fourth fastest time in this afternoon’s Superpole at Phillip Island in Australia. The 22-year-old World Superbike rookie from the Netherlands, who topped the timing sheets after Free Practice 4, fired his Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP around the 4.445km circuit in a time of 1m31.613, 0.4s behind the pole position time of Jonathan Rea. Like all the other riders in the second of this afternoon’s two Superpole sessions, van der Mark was unable to use his allocated Pirelli qualifying tyre after red flags brought the session to an early conclusion following a crash involving Spain’s David Salom.
Michael van der Mark (P4, 1m31.613s): “This morning was really good and we improved the lap time as well as making a really good run. I was also happy with FP4, not just because I was fastest, but because of the bike and the tyres. I was really looking forward to qualifying but I got to the first corner with the Q and the red flags came out. I really wanted to finish the lap but fourth place for my debut is not too bad. Of course, you want it to come in a different way, but I think we are ready for tomorrow.”
Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator: “Michael really improved throughout the weekend and he and his crew have already worked well on the race distance to get the bike dialled in. He seems to be fast in conditions where a lot of guys struggle. He has a really good pace and in the end this brought him fourth place on the grid in this blistering heat. That was on a race tyre of course and, for his first World Superbike race that’s a really good result.”