Dutch rider relishes opportunity with new team for 2017
Following two seasons in the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship with Honda, Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) made the step over to Yamaha for 2017, as the Dutch rider felt it was time for a change. With nine WorldSBK podiums to his name, van der Mark is still hunting down that all important debut win.
“To change this year was more about my own feeling,” explains van der Mark. “I needed to change and to work with different people and Yamaha came at the right time. For myself it was a good decision.”
Reviewing his start to 2017, the 24 year old explains: “My season so far has been really good, I think especially in Australia race two we made a big step with the bike, and then we got a top five in Buriram race one. We are quite close to the podium and I can see that we are making a lot of progress.”
With a competitive team-mate in Alex Lowes, van der Mark discussed his first fight with the British rider: “Buriram was the first time I had a battle with my team-mate, and it was good to see that I was getting close to him. Of course you always want to beat your teammate, and it’s good for the team to see that we have a similar level.”
Making his goals clear in the series for 2017, the former World Supersport Champion is out to win: “Of course I want to improve the bike and package with the team, but I am looking for my first victory. Last year in Assen I had the feeling it could have been my maiden win, but I crashed out with my mistake. It needs to be a culmination of everything, we have been quite lucky to get on the podium a couple of times but we need a bit more speed to take that first win.”
The World Superbike Championship heads to The Netherlands for Round Four of the series from 28th – 30th April, and van der Mark will be hoping to impress in front of his home crowd at the legendary circuit: “I think every rider has a bit of extra power in their home race, and for sure Assen is always something special, but so many things need to be perfect to be on the podium.”