Van der Mark: "Sunday was good but the test is even better"

Tuesday, 19 September 2017 09:37 GMT

Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK rider thrilled with set-up changes made in Portimao

Fresh off the back of his debut Yamaha podium, Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) ended the official Portimao test in the top six as he put in the most laps around the 4.5km sweeping circuit.

Tackling the blind corner entries and stunningly fast circuit, the Dutch rider was able to test parts of the R1 which himself and his team are unable to test over a race weekend. Focusing on the suspension, he was happy with the outcome as well as the race pace he was able to find. Making some small changes to other parts of his blue machine, he is now feeling even more confident ahead of Round 11 at Magny-Cours. However he still as some work to do with his team on his pace at the beginning of the race, which could be seen in the beginning of race two – despite securing a podium he was forced to fight more at the front of the pack.

Van der Mark explains: “It was a really good weekend and it was really good to have the test today, we had some really big ideas to change the suspension and today we found out that I like the new set up. We didn’t want to try the new set up this weekend because we were quite fast already, so we tried some other small things and to play with the suspension. I am happy and we are quite consistent, I tried to do my perfect lap and it didn’t really work but anyway, the main thing for me is that we even improved the race pace.”

However the 26 year old still has some points to work on ahead of the final three rounds of the season:  “We have made some small steps but this one is a big step forward, we still have a long way to go but this is a step in the right direction. The main thing we have to improve is the first couple of laps as with the new tyre we didn’t make a big step. We have to improve on this and we made some small improvements, but we still need to find a bit extra, this is the main thing I need.”

Feeling positive from a strong weekend, van der Mark now heads to Magny-Cours feeling positive, as he also prepares to make his MotoGP™ debut at MotorLand Aragon this weekend: “Sunday was already quite good and Monday was even better. I am really happy and I think that when we go to Magny-Cours we will have a really good base set-up.” You can follow his progress all on the WorldSBK VideoPass.