The Dutchman took to the San Juan layout and was a leader in the early stages, putting in a combative performance for another solid result
Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) was right in the battle for the victory in the early stages of WorldSBK Race 1 in Argentina. The Circuito San Juan Villicum venue returned for a second season and provided thrilling racing action in the early stages. The Dutchman was briefly a race leader in the opening few corners before he was challenged by eventual race winner Alvaro Bautista (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) and Champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK).
Bursting through the carnage of the opening couple of corners that was initiated between Rea and Bautista, van der Mark hit the front and was right in the leading battle during the early stages. Toprak Razgatliolgu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) was also aggressive in the opening laps, duelling with his 2020 teammate. Van der Mark wasn’t able to keep the pace of the leading trio though and soon drifted back into a safe and secure fourth.
Speaking after the race, van der Mark commented on his fourth place: “It was quite a difficult race to be honest, but I was quite happy with my position on the grid. I got an OK start but I didn’t quite have the pace of Jonny, Alvaro and Toprak. I could stay with them, and all four of us pulled away. However, at a certain point, my grip dropped, and I couldn’t push as I wanted. It was a long and difficult race but we always have to look at the positives.”
The 26-year-old Dutchman is right in the scrap for third in the overall standings, now just three points behind teammate Alex Lowes, who was fifth in the opening encounter in San Juan, Argentina.
Continuing on, he stated: “For tomorrow, it looks like it will be cooler so the track should be better than it had been on Saturday morning. Hopefully tomorrow, we can have some really exciting racing and I hope to be able to fight for the podium.”
Can van der Mark jump ahead of his teammate to retake third place in the 2019 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship standings?
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