Dutchman secures 10th podium of the season in sensational race
Continuing his consistent pace so far in 2018, Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) ended his weekend in the French Acerbis Round on the podium, securing a third position after a stunning battle out on track.
Struggling around Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours on Saturday, he made some changes which took him and his team into the unknown ahead of Race two. Getting a stunning start, the Dutch rider was fighting at the front and pulling some risky moves to get him in the fight for the podium: I’m really happy with this podium after yesterday’s difficult race, I was really disappointed and this morning we changed a lot on the bike and it still didn’t feel really good. Then going into the race we made some changes which is always a bit of a gamble and at least I was lucky to start for the second row and a lot better than yesterday.”
Trying to stick with Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), it wasn’t long before Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) joined the party and was able to break ahead of the pack, despite van der Mark initially lapping faster than the duo. “I made such a good start, maybe my best start of the year! I was so aggressive and I could attack straight away and Chaz was so quick of the line and I tried to stay with him but I couldn’t do any more than that. Then Jonny passed me and I wanted to have a nice battle. In the end they were a little but stronger but I’m really happy with my bike today and my 10th podium.”
“The whole bike was so much easier to ride than yesterday, I had so much more grip and it was so much better at changing direction. We’re not there yet but I feel so much better so a lot more confidence and that’s why I was quicker than them
With one eye on second position in the championship standings – he is 26 points behind Davies – he now looks ahead into the final two rounds of the season. “Hopefully we can be on the podium again in the next round. I am really looking forward to Argentina and I like to learn new tracks and hopefully we can continue the strong pace there.”
Enjoy all the action from van der Mark’s battle, all his reactions and the rest of the season all on the WorldSBK VideoPass.