Early issues in the race cost Dutchman strong finish in Argentina
It was a debut to forget for Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) in Argentina, as a tough qualifying saw him start from 11th position on the grid and take a top eight finish. Not happy with his overall result, he feels his pace didn’t reflect his position.
Getting a slow start off the line didn’t help the 25 year old, and with Circuito San Juan Villicum a difficult track to overtake in, it was a tough battle for van der Mark to make up places throughout the pack. Encountering issues with his gear shifter in the early stages of the race, it meant he then had to work through those problems before making up any positions. But, from the second half of the race he began to feel comfortable with his YZF-R1 but was unable to make any progress as he faced big gaps ahead of him.
Crossing the line in eighth overall, he explains his battle in Argentina: “It was really difficult, all day has been difficult, even qualifying. Qualifying in 11th was not ideal and especially on this track when you can only use the ideal line as everything else is so slippery. I knew that it was going to be tough, meaning we made some changes to the bike. My start was good, but I was unlucky in the first few corners, and then a few people got past me, so it was a bit of chaos.
“But anyway after a few laps I had some problems with shifting on the bike and I lost quite a bit of time there. And then when I got past a few guys I was alone, and my pace then was quite good. In the second half of the race, the pace was really good so the result is not what it should be. But these things happen if you have to start 11th so from tomorrow we will try to improve some small things on the bike, and starting from P5 will make it better.”
Follow race two tomorrow from San Juan and see if van der Mark can improve on his pace for race two tomorrow. Keep up with all the action from WorldSBK VideoPass.