The Flying Dutchman made it a third career win to leave Jerez with a strong points haul and third in the championship!
In a dramatic WorldSBK Race 2, it was Michael van der Mark who took victory for the Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team, capitalising on a Turn 1 crash for Alvaro Bautista (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati). The Dutchman had to fight in the early stages for the leading position with Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) but after passing him with 14 laps to go, the 26-year-old had clean air and pulled away for his first win in over a season.
Van der Mark made a bright start to the weekend, finishing FP1 at the top before going on to qualify in seventh position – under the radar but something that we have become accustomed to seeing from the 2014 WorldSSP Champion on Saturday. Come race action though, it was a second-place finish in Race 1 for van der Mark and the same result again in the Tissot Superpole Race. Eager to go one better, van der Mark made hay whilst the Spanish sun shone, to take a first win of 2019.
“From Friday, we had a really good pace,” said race winner van der Mark, who moves into a comfortable third in the championship courtesy of his win and teammate Lowes’ bad Jerez weekend. “In the Tissot Superpole Race, I made some stupid overtakes and I was a bit angry with myself, but I finish on the podium as well. For Race 2, I thought I could fight for the podium again, but I was just hoping to fight with Alvaro from second on the grid. I was ready for it! Jonny was there really quick, and I thought all three of us could have a nice battle but unfortunately, Alvaro crashed and it was Jonny and me.”
Having taken victory for the first time in 378 days, Michael van der Mark will be eager to put in a strong performance at Misano in two weeks-time, where he achieved a second-place last year and a third place in 2016.
Continuing on, van der Mark stated: “I followed Jonny for quite a while because I didn’t want to burn my tyres as I wanted to save them a little bit for the second part of the race. At a certain point, the guys behind were catching up and we had to speed up the pace! I passed Jonny and then did a better rhythm than yesterday; I was really happy with the bike and I felt so good! It is incredible; we tested new parts in Misano and we confirmed here that they are better! Big thanks to the team and I am now looking forward to Misano!
Can Misano conjure up some more magical memories for Michael van der Mark?
Find out in comprehensive styles with the WorldSBK VideoPass!