Lowes and Van der Mark make strong progress in a strong season
Heading into their second season in the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship, Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team continued with Alex Lowes for 2017, and signed Dutch rider Michael van der Mark to tackle a new season of racing action.
Lowes had a strong start to the season, as he was locked in the battles for the podium in the opening races at Phillip Island but missed out on taking the early glory. Consistent results were coming in thick and fast for Lowes, as he only finished outside of the top four once in the opening five races. Whilst on the other side of the garage, van der Mark was continuing to understand the YZF-R1 and had a steady start to his season as he took a top five position finish in Thailand.
Despite some tough races for the pair in the opening leg of the season, which saw them fail to finish some races, the British and Dutch rider were able to continue to consistently secure top five finishes as they made steps with the Yamaha. But the main breakthrough came in Round Six of the championship.
British rider Lowes was able to secure home glory around the British circuit of Donington Park, as he took third position in an emotional race one. With a strong partnership forming with the squad, the podium finish was a strong sign the hard work was paying off.
Round seven of the WorldSBK season at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli was a varied one for the team, as Lowes secured another stunning podium finish but van der Mark missed out on fighting for the race victory following an issue with his tyre. With their season really beginning to take off, van der Mark took his first podium around Autodromo Internacional do Algarve in Race Two before they secured a stunning double podium in Round 11 at Magny-Cours.
Finishing in fifth and sixth in the World Championship standings, Lowes and van der Mark are now hunting down that all important win. With only nine DNF’s between the pair, it was a strong second season for the Japanese manufacturer, and both riders were able to secure strong rides and continue to develop the YZF-R1. Putting in some strong testing times over the winter, the duo are heading into a potentially strong season in 2018.
Relive some of the highlights of Yamaha’s season, all with the WorldSBK VideoPass.