VAN DER MARK IMPRESSES ON DEBUT FOR PATA HONDA

Van der Mark impresses for Pata Honda

Van der Mark impresses for Pata Honda

The Pata Honda team has concluded its winter test programme ahead of this weekend’s (22-24 February) opening round of the 2013 World Supersport championship at Phillip Island in Australia.

Michael van der Mark, who debuts in the championship this season after winning last season’s European Superstock 600 series on the Ten Kate Honda Junior Team’s CBR600RR, continued his impressive pre-season form by setting the fourth fastest time overall in an official two-day test which ended this afternoon.

His new team-mate, Lorenzo Zanetti, also a World Supersport rookie for 2013, continues his adaptation from last season in World Superbikes, but made a positive step today, shaving one second off his previous best time at the 4.445km Phillip Island circuit.

The Pata Honda duo will now line up for the coming weekend with the aim of finding a suitable set-up that will allow their tyres to perform for Sunday’s 21-lap race.

Michael van der Mark at Pata Honda test

Michael van der Mark at Pata Honda test

Michael van der Mark
I’m really happy after this test and looking forward to the weekend. We’ve worked hard on the race set-up today and did two complete race simulations and we found a good pace. More importantly we found a good solution to keep the tyre working at the end of the race. OK, it was still destroyed but the times were quite good. In the last 15 minutes today we tried to do a qualifying lap and managed a good time. I’m happy with fourth place and we will try to maintain this performance through the first round.

Lorenzo Zanetti at Pata Honda test

Lorenzo Zanetti at Pata Honda test

Lorenzo Zanetti
I’d like to thank the whole team for the step forward we made today. We have tried many things during the winter testing but I have found it a little bit hard to adapt to the CBR600RR after riding bigger bikes for the last few years. The team made a great job today which allowed me to make this step and now the gap to the front is smaller. We changed the bike, my riding style and I am much more comfortable. I think we can make some more steps during the two days of practice this weekend and I will aim for a good result in the race.

Pieter Breddels– technical co-ordinator
We are quite happy with the results of our tests here at Phillip Island. Michael did a great job to finish fourth fastest, but he has shown a lot of potential throughout our testing. Today, he showed this even more and we have great expectations for him to finish strongly in the first race. On the final afternoon of the final day’s testing, we made quite a big step with Lorenzo. The time has improved by almost a second from this morning because his feeling and confidence have improved through some general changes we made. His times are consistent, too, so we go into the race weekend happy and with a good feeling.

Official 2013 World Supersport championship test

Phillip Island, Australia, 18-19 February – overall times

1. Sam Lowes (GBR) Yamaha 1m33.076s
2. Kenan Sofuogly (TUR) Kawasaki 1m33.384s
3. Fabien Foret (FRA) Kawasaki 1m33.614s
4. Michael van der Mark (NED) Pata Honda 1m33.874s
5. David Salom (ESP) Kawasaki 1m33.950s
6. Gabor Talmasci (HUN) Honda 1m34.048s
16. Lorenzo Zanetti (ITA) Pata Honda 1m34.870s

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