Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team riders Lowes and Van der Mark were both on the podium at Magny-Cours on Sunday
As the Pirelli French Round concluded on Sunday at Magny Cours it was all smiles for the Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team after Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark battled for second place around the 4.411km track and both ultimately finished on the podium.
Lowes followed up his solid ride to fifth in the wet Race 1 by securing second, to record his third podium of 2017. Dutchman Van der Mark had worked hard to challenge Lowes during Sunday’s race but would finally have to settle for third as the Yamaha team notched a first double podium in WorldSBK.
Adding to his second-place finish at Misano and third at his home round in Donnington, Lowes equalled his best WorldSBK result despite still feeling the after-effects from his Race 2 highside in Portimao. The 20 points he secured means the British rider remains fifth in the championship standings.
"I am really happy to share the podium with Michael because the team have been performing so well and I am looking forward to the rest of the season now," enthused Lowes. "I try to do the best I can in every race and my goal is to try and challenge these guys every week, that is the target and what Yamaha employ me to do. I think if I take a step back, I can be quite happy overall with the season up to now, but as a rider, you always want more and there are some events where more could have been achieved. I still feel that there is still plenty more to come from myself and the R1 and we will keep working hard to improve."
Van der Mark, meanwhile, also had an eventful weekend, remounting after a crash in Race 1 and fighting back through the field from last to secure ninth place. The 24 year-old then stepped things up on Sunday and pushed Lowes hard for second place, getting close to the Englishman with seven laps to go before ultimately crossing the finish line just over 1.5s behind his colleague.
"It is my second podium of the season and I am so happy," Van der Mark stated. "In the first race I was a bit unlucky but I scored some points. It was good to start from sixth on the grid for Race 2. I had a really good start and fought my way to the front but it was really difficult as there were some big drops of rain falling, so it was difficult to know what to expect. I just focused on finding my pace and it was similar to the guys in front. Towards the end of the race I closed the gap to Alex, but then I made some small mistakes and I just didn't have the tyres anymore to attack again. It was a little bit of a weird race but Alex and I were really strong and it was great to share the podium with my teammate."