Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK duo continue strong form into Spain
With the new track surface the main talking point on the opening day of the Pirelli Spanish Round this weekend, the Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK duo of Michael van der Mark and Alex Lowes were able to impress with a top six finish on Friday.
Dutch rider van der Mark ended the day in the top three, and was only 0.599s behind Friday’s fastest man Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team). Once the 24 year old was able to understand how the Pirelli tyres were working around the Circuito de Jerez, he soon got to grips with the pace of his YZF-R1 as he changed very little with his machine. Hoping this pace will carry forward to Saturday, van der Mark was understandably pleased with his time of 1.40.890.
“I am really happy with P3 today,” beams van der Mark. “This morning we started at a normal level and then we improved, it as quite difficult with the track being quite dirty. From this morning to this afternoon we didn’t change anything, to see what the track conditions were like. I went out this afternoon and did some ok lap times, I tried some hard tyres and it wasn’t great, then we changed something on the softer tyre and got some strong times at the end of FP2. I’m really happy with the bike because we didn’t change much and I feel consistent, so I am happy for day one. I am enjoying having the warm weather back, and it will be interesting tomorrow and I think we have a good pace and will work well with the tyres”
British team-mate Lowes is also happy with his pace, as he is impressed with the new tarmac around the 4.5km circuit. Ending the session just over half a second behind Rea, with a time of 1.40.891, Lowes has taken some positive from today and is searching for a small change to find a few extra tenths. Continuing with his positive attitude, he believes Saturday will depend on consistency, and is keen to fight.
Lowes: “I feel good, the surface on the track has reacted really well, the bike is feeling quite comfortable. I have a few things to improve, but I am looking forward to tomorrow. We do so many laps of Jerez over the winter, as soon as there is a change you notice it straight away, but the surface is great and let’s see if we can make some small change and find a couple of tenths. Today the tyre were dropping quote a lot, so I think it’s going to be about consistency. I know I can keep the bike going and I want to keep fighting at the front.”
Keep up with the two Yamaha boy’s progress throughout the rest of the Pirelli Spanish round, all with the WorldSBK VideoPass.