British race winner secures second fastest time whilst van der Mark rides injured
With the sun shining down on the final test session of the year, the Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK squad were busy preparing for the 2019 season with plenty of parts to test and new directions to find. Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) ended the test with a strong pace, as Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) was battling an injury.
Stating he felt the happiest he ever has on his YZF-R1 machine, British rider Alex Lowes was never outside of the top four over the two days as he worked on the front end feeling of his bike on Monday and the rear on the Tuesday. Making some strong steps with the bike throughout the two days, there was a lot of focus on seeing if he can be competitive in different conditions.
Lowes explained: "It's been a good two-day test here in Jerez and we managed to work our way through what was a pretty big list of things, some positive some not so much, but that's what testing is for. Yesterday we worked on the front of the bike and today on the rear, before putting together the best combination of the two. I was quite happy with how I felt on the bike today; we've highlighted two main areas that we want to focus on at the January tests, so it was good to end the season on a positive note. A massive thank you to the guys in the team for all their hard work this year; now we've got some time to recharge the batteries before getting back to it here in Jerez in January."
Riding injured this week, Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) discovered he had broken his right wrist – the scaphoid – in his free practice highside at Qatar back in October. Despite this, the Dutchman was able to put in a lot of laps to begin to understand improvements with the grip. Also looking at electronics and throttle connection, he was looking at the updates needed ahead of 2019.
"It's been a really interesting test,” began van der Mark. “But it's a shame that I'm still not fully fit after sustaining a wrist injury in the final race in Qatar. Still, we completed a lot of work here in Jerez; the first day we had a long list of things to try and I didn't really feel comfortable on the bike, but today was much better. Again, we were trying many things, mainly with the geometry and suspension but also the electronics. This afternoon I managed to find my rhythm, improve lap by lap and we made some steps forward. Initially we were struggling a little on corner entry, but at the end we found quite a good solution. I'm really happy with the end of the second day and I'm already looking forward to January."
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