PODIUM FINISH FOR VAN DER MARK

Van der Mark at Phillip Island

Michael Van der Mark - Podium position on debut

Michael Van der Mark – Podium position on debut

Michael van der Mark took a podium finish in his World Supersport debut today, finishing third behind race winner Kenan Sofuoglu and Sam Lowes in today’s 2013 championship opener at Phillip Island in Australia.

The 20-year-old Dutch rider, who won the European Superstock 600 series last season, guided his Pata Honda CBR600RR for 15 laps around the abrasive 4.445km Phillip Island circuit, nursing his rear tyre and always staying in touch with his much more experience rivals.

Van der Mark’s Pata Honda team-mate, Lorenzo Zanetti, enjoyed a solid World Sueprsport debut, finishing his first race in eighth place and consolidating the steps forward he has made with his machine during testing and practice sessions at Phillip Island.

Michael van der Mark – 3rd

I had a good start, I think – I practiced some start during qualifying, but I never had a start like that! I followed the pace of Kenan (Sofuoglu) and Same (Lowes) and saw that I could stay with them quite easily. I also stayed positive with the throttle – opening really slow to take care of the tyre. At the end I saw that the guy in fourth place was not catching me, so I slowed down a little bit. For me, third place is like a win in my first race, so I’m really happy. Also thanks to my team because we found a set-up to save the tyre today. We changed a lot with the electronics and my riding style and at the end of the race the tyre was still working. It’s a fantastic feeling!

Lorenzo Zanetti – 8th

Eighth is not so bad for my first race in World Supersport. I feel good because I’ve learned the working methods of the team, which is new for me and not so easy. I have also had to learn the bike. To fight for the podium is another step, of course, especially in the last part of the race when the tyre goes down. Of course, now we have some data to check and we can work at another test before the Aragon race. I’d like to thank the whole team for the work this whole weekend and, of course, compliments to Mikey (van der Mark) for a good job.

Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator

Michael gave us our first podium of the season and what can you say? It was his first Supersport race with a podium finish and he was even able to close the gap to the front runners and battle with them on equal terms. He’s been amazing since we got here and he has done really, really well. For Lorenzo, in the end, he had quite a battle in the race, unfortunately not for the very front positions. He has improved so much since the test, even though there is still some work to do. He’s a good rider – he knows it and we know it, so we just have to bring it all together. But all-in-all, it was a good day for the Supersport team.

2013 World Supersport championship, round 1

Phillip Island, Australia – 4.445km, 15 laps

Race results:

1 Kenan Sofuoglu (TUR) Kawasaki

2 Sam Lowes (GBR) Yamaha

3 Michael van der Mark (NED) Pata Honda

4 Fabien Foret (FRA) Kawasaki

5 David Salom (ESP) Kawasaki

6 Luca Scassa (ITA) Kawasaki

7 A Antonelli (ITA) Kawasaki

8 Lorenzo Zanetti (ITA) Pata Honda

Championship points after round one:

1 Sofuoglu 25, 2 Lowes, 20, 3 van der Mark 16, 4 Foret 13, 5 Salom 11, 6 Scassa 10, 7 Antonelli 9, 8 Zanetti 8
Next round: Aragon, Spain – 12-14 April 

 

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