Van der Mark: "At Assen we have to fight for the podium"

Monday, 16 April 2018 10:27 GMT

Pata Yamaha rider left wanting more after two fifth-place finishes

During Aragon weekend, both Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team riders were close to the front, but perhaps not close enough to fulfil their expectations after a fantastic Race 2 in Buriram, where both Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) and Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) climbed onto the podium.

Van der Mark in particular seemed to be deeply dissatisfied with his results, despite two consecutive fifth-place finishes. “Yeah we have another top 5, but to be honest I’m not very happy with the result. I had a good start, but immediately from the start I struggled with the front tyre”, explains the Dutchman. “It was a long race, and in the middle I missed a gear so lost another two places. At the end I had quite a nice battle with Alex, but I’m not very happy with the result”.

Van der Mark led the race during the first couple of laps, but was soon displaced by the Kawasakis and Ducatis: “At the start I struggled immediately with the front [of the bike], so I had a feeling there was no way I was going to stay at the front. To be honest, with the warmer temperatures I thought this could happen. Anyway, we stayed on and we scored some valuable points”.

“For Assen we have to improve and we have to fight for the podium, for sure”, he concludes.

Lowes, meanwhile, improved his seventh-place finish from Race 1, coming in just ahead of his teammate on Sunday. But the British rider hasn’t been feeling fantastic on the Alcañiz track either: “Tough race, tough weekend – I’ve not quite been fast enough”, he says. “Today I felt like fourth was about the best I could get. I know a few areas I want to improve, and now we’ve got a few days until Assen, so I’m looking forward to us being a lot stronger there”.

Asked about competing with his teammate across the weekend, Lowes is clear: “I always enjoy the battle, but I would like it to be for first and second, not fourth and fifth”.

Find out how the Pata Yamaha pair make it to Assen, with all the reactions, highlights and more, available on the WorldSBK VideoPass.