WORLDSBK SATURDAY AT BARCELONA: MICHAEL VAN DER MARK BATTLING FOR A PODIUM SPOT
Michael van der Mark was involved in the battle to reach the podium in today’s Race 1 at the Circuit de Catalunya and finished fifth on the wet circuit. The weekend at Barcelona had been dry thus far, but rain set in just as the grid was forming up for race one. The riders chose wet-weather tyres to deal with the conditions around the circuit.
Van der Mark remained in ninth after the start, before starting to make his move up through the field. He had reached fifth place by lap two and moved into fourth with a great manoeuvre on lap seven. He was now battling for a podium finish and moved to within 0.1 seconds of the top three. When leader Toprak Razgatlioglu (TUR / Yamaha) retired on the 15th lap, van der Mark was able to claim third for a while before dropping two places. Van der Mark then closed up on Jonathan Rea (GBR / Kawasaki) again during the final laps, before crossing the line in fifth place, six and a half seconds behind winner Scott Redding (GBR / Ducati).
Michael: “This morning in FP3 I felt really good. I had good pace after making some changes to the bike which I felt comfortable with. In Superpole I was quite happy with my laps. P9 on the grid wasn’t ideal, but I knew we had a good bike for the race. The race then was wet. I had an OK start and got into a good rhythm and started to pass people. At a certain point in the race I was feeling really confident but I felt the bike spinning as soon as I picked the bike up out of the corner, especially compared to the other riders. For me it was an enjoyable race but it was also really frustrating as I had the feeling that if I had a little more grip on the exit I could have been up there fighting for the podium. Anyway, this is another race done and we learnt a lot from it. We have to find the solution when it’s wet again to get more drive grip.”