Magic Michael Charges to Fourth in Race 2 at Misano

2017-06-18 12:44
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team's Michael van der Mark bounced back on Sunday at Misano to charge through the field and secure fourth in Race 2 during round seven of the 2017 FIM Superbike World Championship, despite another technical issue with his rear tyre. His teammate Alex Lowes showed good pace and was battling with his teammate when he, unfortunately, lost the front in turn 1 and crashed out.

Van der Mark was determined to bounce back from Saturday's Race 1 when a technical issue with his tyre caused him to crash while leading the race. He started from 12th on the grid and when the lights went out he immediately got his head down and started to charge through the pack. The 24-year-old Dutch rider caught his teammate and passed him for sixth place after Lowes ran wide on lap 9, also managing to get past Laverty at the same time. He then tried his best to close the gap to the riders at the front. He was lapping at the same pace as the leaders, and with a rider retiring in front of him, on lap 18 he was up to fourth place. Unfortunately, he had already felt vibration from his rear tyre and was naturally concerned that a repeat of his Race 1 problem might occur. This meant he had to back off although he bravely continued to cross the line in fourth and match his best result for the Pata Yamaha Team in 2017.

Lowes was determined to follow up his podium in Race 1 with another good ride, but due to the rules for Race 2 he had to start from eighth on the grid. Lowes showed great pace and made his way through the pack one by one until he was in sixth place, before he got held up behind Eugene Laverty. In an effort to pass he ran slightly wide, allowing his teammate van der Mark through. He fought back, passed Laverty, but while hunting down the leading group with his teammate, on lap 12 he tucked the front at turn 1, ending his race prematurely.

Lowes DNF means he is now fifth in the championship with 141 points, 22 behind Marco Melandri in fourth. Van der Mark moves up to sixth with 115 points, 26 behind his teammate. The team are next in action at Laguna Seca for round eight of the 2017 FIM Superbike World Championship on 7th-9th July.

Michael van der Mark Michael van der Mark
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team - 4th - +13.364s

"The start was not perfect, I didn't know where to go in the first couple of corners, but one by one I passed a few people and made some good moves. I was behind Alex and I struggled to do my pace. I was struggling to stop the bike, but we hadn't changed anything from yesterday. I saw that the guys in front were also not doing the same pace from yesterday, so I tried to do my own laps and got close to Alex and Eugene. I passed Alex and then Eugene and tried to close the gap to the guys at the front, but we were doing similar times so I couldn't really achieve that. Towards the end, I got another problem with the rear tyre. It's a shame, but the positive is that we got some good points today. The best thing about the weekend was leading the race for so long yesterday. We can't change anything, so we will take the positives and I look forward to Laguna Seca!"
Alex Lowes Alex Lowes
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team - DNF

"I didn't get the best start, it seems to go against us when we don't get a good start as we find it hard to pass, but actually the team did a great job with the bike. I had a lot better pace than yesterday, even when Michael passed me I felt I had a stronger pace than him. I managed to pull away from him at the start, but I got caught behind Laverty, and he caught me back up. Even when Michael passed us both, I could stay with him and felt quite comfortable. All weekend he has been faster than me, so I feel like we have done a good job to improve our pace. It was easy to make a small mistake today, and I am not too sure what happened so it is a shame to lose an opportunity to get some good points. Overall, it's been a promising weekend, showing good potential - even if it was a tough one. We learnt a lot and I am looking forward to Laguna!"
Paul Denning
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team Principal

"Starting from eighth and twelfth today with the new Race 2 grid format didn't work out well for our guys in the early laps, but both Alex and Michael looked set for good finishes after they had cleared some traffic. At the time Alex tucked the front, both he and Michael were pushing hard to catch the front group and on a greasy track with more than 50°C track temperature it can easily happen. It's a great shame because in clear air Alex had the pace of the podium group. For Michael, yesterday was a massive disappointment and there was no way to challenge for the win today from so far back on the grid, but his pace was superbly consistent until unfortunately, he suffered another problem with the rear tyre with around eight laps to go. Michael had no choice but to back off significantly and of course, he was extremely worried that during the fast section of this track that the same problem would happen as yesterday. We look forward to a positive reaction to avoid this problem in the future."

Source: Yamaha Motor Europe N.V.

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