Van der Mark at Phillip Island

Van der Mark at Phillip Island

Pata Honda’s Michael van der Mark qualified in an impressive fourth place this afternoon for his World Supersport debut in tomorrow’s first round race at Phillip Island in Australia.

The 20-year-old Dutchman will start at the head of row two under new regulations for the season which put three riders on each row of the grid, rather than the traditional four.

Van der Mark’s Pata Honda team-mate, Lorenzo Zanetti, consolidated his own improvement on the team’s HondaCBR600RR machine by taking 10th place for his own World Supersport debut at the 4.445km Phillip Island circuit.

Tomorrow’s race has been reduced from 21 laps to 15 following further concerns about tyre life around the newly-surfaced but still abrasive track.

Michael van der Mark – P4, 1m33.802s

I’m really happy to qualify in fourth place in my first World Supersport race at this track where I have never raced before. We really didn’t expect this so early in the season. I did a race simulation this morning and we made some more progress and then, in qualifying this afternoon, I struggled with one tyre but still managed a good lap time. I couldn’t have imagined a better start to the season and I’m looking forward to a good race tomorrow.

Lorenzo Zanetti at Phillip Island Lorenzo Zanetti – P10, 1m34.465s

I’m a little disappointed because I was not able to improve my time today. The wind was a big problem for me today – I think it was from a different direction today and I felt it was pushing the front a little. I did a 15-lap race distance this morning in free practice and the tyre looked quite good so I think we can make a good race tomorrow.

Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator

I think Michael did a great job putting the bike on fourth spot for his first Supersport race, just a tenth of a second off the front row. He has been in really good form during the test and this race weekend and stayed at the front. We’re very excited that he may be able to battle for the podium tomorrow and we could not have expected more. Lorenzo wasn’t able to improve his time but he’s come a long way since testing and 10th on the grid is not too bad. I hope we can see some fighting spirit in the race to push him higher in the results.

2013 World Supersport championship, round one – Phillip Island, Australia
Final qualifying results:
1 Sam Lowes (GBR) Yamaha 1m32.545s
2 Kenan Sofuoglu (TUR) Kawasaki 1m33.157s
3 Fabien Foret (FRA) Kawasaki 1m33.721s
4 Michael van der Mark (NED) Pata Honda 1m33.802
5 Jack Kennedy (GBR) Honda 1m33.896s
6 David Salom (ESP) Kawasaki 1m33.965s
7 Roberto Rolfo (ITA) MV Agusta 1m34.081s
8 A Antonelli (ITA) Kawsaki 1m34.359s
9 Kevin Coghlan (GBR) Kawsaki 1m34.393s
10 Lorenzo Zanetti (ITA) Pata Honda 1m34.465s

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