PROVISIONAL FRONT ROW FOR PATA HONDA MICHAEL VAN DER MARK AT PHILLIP ISLAND

Michael van der Mark

Michael van der Mark

Pata Honda rider Michael van der Mark took a provisional front row grid position in today’s opening qualifying session for the first World Supersport championship round of 2013 at Phillip Island in Australia.

The 20-year-old World Supersport rookie from Rotterdam in the Netherlands set a time of 1m34.106s, to take fourth behind provisional pole-sitter, Sam Lowes. Van der Mark’s time was despite crashing spectacularly at the end of this morning’s first free practice session at the 4.445km Phillip Island circuit.

Van der Mark’s Pata Honda team-mate, Lorenzo Zanetti, 25, fired in a quick lap at the end of this afternoon’s 45-minute qualifying session to take a provisional second row spot for Sunday’s 21-lap opener.

After competing on bigger bikes in recent seasons, Italian Zanetti, 25, from Italy, has continued the step forward he found with his Honda CBR600RR during an official two-day test at Phillip Island.

Pata Honda's Michael van der Mark

Pata Honda’s Michael van der Mark

Michael van der Mark – P4, 1m34.106s

I’m happy because my crash this morning was big and I hurt my ankle quite badly. The guys did a great job to fix the bike so fast because it was quite damaged. I was able to do some fast lap times immediately this afternoon, which was good after this morning’s crash. I felt quite OK with the bike – we need to find some changes on the set-up but I think for tomorrow we will be able to go faster and be more consistent.

Pata Honda's Lorenzo Zanetti

Pata Honda’s Lorenzo Zanetti

Lorenzo Zanetti – P7, 1m34.465s

I’ve been able to improve every session on the bike and the team is working better and better. Each time I go out I learn a new step and feel a little bit more comfortable with the bike. Now the lap time is OK but tomorrow I will make a race simulation to see how is the tyre life, but for now everything is OK.

Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator

Once again Michael proved that he can stay there with the front runner, finishing a solid fourth today. It was particularly impressive after his big crash this morning in which luckily he was not injured. Lorenzo improved his lap time quite dramatically in the last minutes of qualifying and he finished seventh so, all in all, it’s looking good.

2013 World Supersport championship, round one – Phillip Island, Australia

First qualifying results:

1 Sam Lowes (GBR) Yamaha 1m32.545s
2 Kenan Sofuoglu (TUR) Kawasaki 1m33.664s
3 Roberto Rolfo (ITA) MV Agusta 1m34.081s
4 Michael van der Mark (NED) Pata Honda 1m34.106s
5 Jack Kennedy (GBR) Honda 1m34.143s
6 A Antonelli (ITA) Kawsaki 1m34.359s
7 Lorenzo Zanetti (ITA) Pata Honda 1m34.465s
8 Massimo Roccoli (ITA) Yamaha 1m34.466s
9 Kevin Coghlan (GBR) Kawsaki 1m34.484s
10 Christian Iddon (GBR) MV Agusta 1m34.551s

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