Pata Yamaha duo put in plenty of laps around Portimao
Fresh off the back of their sensational victory in the Suzuka 8 Hour, Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team-mates Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark had a busy two days in the Official Portimao test last week, covering everything from tyres, to suspension to 2019 parts.
British rider Lowes finished in second position overall, putting in 126 laps in the searing heat around the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve. Hopeful these weather conditions will repeat themselves in three weeks time when the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship visits for the tenth round of the season, Lowes is ready to get back into racing, with some certain goals on his mind: “We had so much to test over the last couple of days, some of it works well and some not so well, but that’s what testing is about. But the main focus was working to find a good set up on the bike for the new front tyre that Pirelli brought to the last race in Misano.
“There’s a couple of positive things we can take forward to the race, so I’m looking forward to coming back in a couple of weeks. Hopefully we will have the same weather, and it was good to get the chance to test again when the track temperature is closer to what we can expect when we return next month for the race.
“Before the end of the year I want to try and win a race again, challenge every weekend for the best position possible and put us in the position where we can get as many podiums and the best result. We’ve got plenty of work to do but that’s my target and I can’t wait.”
Whilst on the other side of the garage, Dutchman Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) finished in third position overall, 0.042s behind Lowes and with 143 laps completed. Returning to the circuit which saw him secure his first podium finish with Yamaha, van der Mark focused on small improvements to get his bike in a good feeling for the race here in three weeks time.
Getting re-acquainted with his YZF-R1 was his first point of call, but then the 25 year old began to work on smaller components which they don’t have time for over a race weekend. Ending the two days feeling happy with the work done, van der Mark now looks forward to the impending Nolan Portuguese Round.
"It's been a long summer break,” begins van der Mark. “So the first priority was to get back up to speed and get reacquainted with the WorldSBK spec YZF-R1, so we started by confirming the set ups from the last race and the test here in the winter before making any changes to the bike.
“After that we tried quite a few small things, mainly with the suspension, that we don't have time to test during a race weekend. When you test so many different options there are always positives and negatives, but the most important thing is to collect the data that can then be analysed by the engineers as part of the development process, both for the coming races and for the future.
“It's always good to be back on the bike and after such a positive test here in Portimao I'm now looking forward to finishing the season as strongly as possible."
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