VAN DER MARK PUSHES FOR THE PODIUM IN RACE 2 AT DONINGTON
The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team enjoyed a second good day today at Donington Park for round six of the 2017 FIM Superbike World Championship. Michael van der Mark produced a brilliant ride and was involved in a dramatic battle for the podium before securing an excellent fourth place. Van der Mark started from second on the grid and despite not having the perfect start, he immediately attacked, pulling off a number of superb overtaking manoeuvres to move up to second by the end of lap two.
The Dutch rider continued to push but could not close the gap to the leader, so he decided to focus on riding his own race. His R1 was performing beautifully around the fast and flowing Donington Park circuit and he kept the hammer down, showing amazing consistency and never dropping below a 1:28s lap. Towards the end of the race he was caught by a charging Chaz Davies, but did not give up third place easily, fighting until the last corner of the penultimate lap before Davies managed to get past. The 23-year-old brought the R1 home in fourth place to equal his best result of the season, missing out on the podium by just 0.784s.
Van der Mark’s fourth place means he has now moved up to sixth in the championship, just 19 points behind his teammate. The team now head to a private test at Misano, before round seven of the 2017 FIM Superbike World Championship at the same circuit in three weeks’ time.
Michael van der Mark:
“My start was not perfect and at Donington, especially at the first corner, you have to be at the front. On lap two I passed Leon Haslam at Melbourne, then at the last corner I took Mercado and I was in second place. After that I kept pushing and I saw Johnathan Rea was too fast, but I kept pushing and did my own race. I improved my pace from yesterday by a lot so I was really happy. I saw I was opening a gap behind me, but in the last nine laps Chaz Davies was behind me and he was closing all the time. One lap before the end he passed me.
I tried to get him back but unfortunately, I missed the podium. I am really happy with my race and the bike, it showed we can be on the podium in a normal race and I am very pleased with that. We should be strong at Misano. We know where we need to improve now, in the slower corners, it is also where Chaz was stronger than me which unfortunately happened to be the last part of the track. It is good for us to see we are strong in the faster areas and to see where we need to improve. We have a nice test at Misano this week, then hopefully we can arrive for the race weekend there having made a step.”