Pata Yamaha’s Dutchman ready for Italian challenge, while Lowes vows to bounce back
As the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship gears up for Round 5 at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari di Imola, polar-opposite messages will be sent inside the Pata Yamaha box. For Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) the memo will read “do everything you did last time”, as the Dutchman tries to extend his momentum from Assen. Meanwhile, for Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team), the goal will be to forget the Dutch Round as soon as he hits the track in Italy.
Van der Mark rolls into Imola following his best ever points haul in a single WorldSBK weekend. At Assen, the flying Dutchman came in second in Race 1 and third in Race 2, completing podium finishes in back-to-back races for only the third time in his career. He has already climbed onto the podium more times in 2018 than in 2017. There’s definite progress on the Yamaha this year, but Imola will be a tough test: he has only finished 7th and 9th at the Italian track.
Van der Mark is confident going into the fifth Round: "After a good race weekend at Assen and a positive test at Brno, I'm really looking forward to Imola. It's going to be interesting to see how the bike will work, as Imola is such a different track then the places we have been to this year, but I believe that the base package of the YZF-R1 should also be good at Imola!".
Lowes, on the other hand, will not be looking back at the Assen round for any sort of inspiration. After recording the first Superpole of his career, the British rider’s weekend crumbled, a tyre issue on Saturday and a crash on Sunday leading to him to just 6 points over the weekend. His best result at Imola was a sixth place in both 2016 and 2017.
Lowes will be looking to rejoin the top group of riders at the Italian venue: "I feel refreshed and ready to go to Imola. It's a track that always delivers an amazing atmosphere. The last round wasn't great for me in terms of results but my speed was very strong and, also, at the Brno test I found some steps forward with the bike so I'm expecting some good results. Really looking forward to the weekend and getting back going with the whole crew!".
Don’t miss the run-up to the Pata Italian Round, with loads of exclusive content only on the WorldSBK VideoPass.