Lowes and van der Mark set sights on Thai podiums

Wednesday, 13 March 2019 15:54 GMT

The Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team want to return to the podium in Thailand, with wins not off the cards!

Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) are looking to pick up wins in the 2019 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship season at the Chang International Circuit, Buriram. The Yamaha pairing achieved a double podium at the venue in Race 2 last year and will hope that they can better that achievement this season.

Alex Lowes has a good record at the Thai venue, being one of only two riders on the grid to achieve podiums at the circuit with two different manufacturers – the other being his current teammate, Michael van der Mark. The British rider has finished all but one race at the circuit, with two podiums and never finishing outside of the top seven.

Lowes is hungry for his first win of the year, stating: "Buriram is always a fun place to race for WorldSBK. It's an interesting place to visit, very different to Europe, and the people are both passionate and welcoming.

“The Chang International Circuit isn't that technical; the first part is all about speed and the second part is more twisty, with each corner leading into the next.

“After a solid start in Australia, I'm looking forward to building more momentum this weekend and challenging for the podium in all three races in Thailand. It's going to be hot and humid, which always adds to the challenge, but that's something I enjoy."

Teammate Michael van der Mark is the only other rider besides Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) to achieve a pole position during the Saturday Tissot Superpole session. The Dutchman, who will be starting his 106th WorldSBK race in Race 1 on Saturday (16:00 LT), will be seeking to go one better on last year’s Race 2 result (2nd).

With two podiums at the Chang International Circuit, the 2014 WorldSSP champion said: "I'm looking forward to the race weekend in Thailand. I was second in race two last year, with Alex also on the podium, so I'm happy to come back to Thailand again. It's a completely different track to Phillip Island, but it's one I always enjoying riding at, especially in front of the passionate and enthusiastic Thai fans.”

Once again, weather is a big talking point ahead of the Pirelli Thai Round and van der Mark also stated his excitement for the hot conditions. “The weather forecast is promising hot weather for the weekend, which adds to the challenge for both the riders and the crew as we work to set up the bike, but I like it a lot when it's hot!"

The Pata Yamaha WorldSBK team have had one bike inside the top ten in every single WorldSBK race since Losail, Race 2 2017. Yamaha’s last non-European circuit win was with Ben Spies in 2009, at the Miller Motorsports Park, USA, and their last win in Far East Asia was with Noriyuki Haga in 1998, at Sugo, Japan!

A weekend promised to be packed with action, you can follow the Pirelli Thai Round with the WorldSBK Videopass!