Hayden and van der Mark Complete Laguna Weekend with Fifth and Seventh Place

Hayden and van der Mark Complete Laguna

Hayden and van der Mark Complete Laguna Weekend with Fifth and Seventh Place

credit: Honda Worldwide

The ninth round of the 2016 FIM Superbike World Championship has drawn to an end for the Honda WorldSBK team, with Nicky Hayden and Michael van der Mark finishing a shortened race two at Laguna Seca in fifth and seventh places, respectively. Courtesy of this weekend’s results, van der Mark is now equal in points with fourth-placed Giugliano in the championship standings, while Hayden is twelve points down in sixth.

Nicky Hayden
Nicky Hayden
Michael van der Mark
Michael van der Mark

The initial race was stopped during lap five following Pawel Szkopek’s spectacular crash at turn six: before the checkered flag was deployed, Nicky Hayden was running strongly in fifth place after setting his best lap of the weekend on race tires. Van der Mark, on the other hand, was at the back of the field in nineteenth, after crashing out at the Corkscrew on the opening lap and rejoining the race on board his Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP machine.

The new 21-lap encounter got underway 20 minutes later with both riders getting a great launch off the grid. Unlike the four laps completed before the red flag, Hayden started to experience some problems with the front and was unable to attack the Californian track the way he wanted. Nevertheless, the 34-year-old American managed to hold on to fifth place up to the checkered flag. After going from nineteenth to eleventh in just one lap, van der Mark joined the five-way battle for fourth place, eventually getting the better of both Yamaha riders and finishing seventh.

The team will now return to its headquarters in the Netherlands, while Hayden and van der Mark will fly off to Japan in order to start their preparations for the Suzuka 8 Hours, which takes place on July 29-31. The Dutch-based squad and the riders will then reunite halfway through August for a two-day test at the Lausitzring in Germany, the same circuit hosting the tenth round of the season on September 16-18.

Nicky Hayden
Nicky Hayden
Nicky Hayden(right)
Nicky Hayden(right)

Honda Rider Comments

Nicky Hayden (Honda World Superbike Team)
Race result: 3rd / 5th
“I’m really disappointed for how the race went, especially for how things were looking before the red flag. At the first start there was a little glitch in the light and I got buried, but I was good in turns one and two and made up a lot of positions. I was feeling more and more confident and just had my best lap of the weekend on race tires, then the red flag came out. After the second start something happened: we’re not sure what exactly at the moment as the team is still analyzing the data, but the bike was completely different. I couldn’t brake as good as yesterday and I lost all confidence. It’s a shame, really, because after the first start I thought I could have gone for something really special. Nonetheless, I want to thank the team because they did all it was in their power to give me the best bike and the fans for their incredible support. It surely wasn’t a disaster, I would have liked to give more today, for sure.”
Michael van der Mark (Honda World Superbike Team)
Race result: 4th/7th
“Something happened at the first start because the lights went off and on again and that created a bit of chaos. I wanted to move up as quickly as possible but when I tried to outbrake Camier at the Corkscrew I was too hard on the brakes and lost the rear. It was a bit scary, but thankfully I was able to find a gap between riders and avoid any collision. After that I tried to recover and surely the red flag helped me a lot. I had a good start from the back of the field and managed to get close to the top 10 by the end of the first lap. I wanted to make up some more places but the feeling with the bike was not the same as yesterday; I could close the gap a bit with the guys ahead but that was it. It was really hard to stay with them, but overall we must be happy with our seventh place today and with the weekend overall.”
Pieter Breddels
“We tried some changes to the front of both bikes, with an eye to the track temperature, because the front-tire choice was the key for the race here in Laguna. In the end, with Michael we decided to go back to yesterday’s settings and made just a few clicks to the rear suspension. With Nicky we used a harder front spring, which he liked so we kept it for the race. Michael had a good start to the second race after the crash he had before the red flag, made up several places and was seventh at the end. Nicky was in attack-mode and got up to third, but then he had to give away a couple of places and for some reason – which we are currently investigating on – he couldn’t be as quick as he was before the race was stopped. He immediately said that the front wasn’t feeling the same and that was basically holding him back. Still, it wasn’t a bad round: Nicky was only behind Sykes in terms of points scored this weekend, while Michael was able to limit the damage very well today, considering his grid position at the restart. We have a long break ahead now, but we will be testing in five weeks at the Lausitzring, the same track that will host the next round. We haven’t been racing there for a long time, so it’ll be very useful for us.”
Michael van der Mark
Michael van der Mark

World Superbike and World Supersport 2016
Round 09: Laguna Seca – U.S.A

Superbike Race 1
Rank Rider (Team)
1 Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team)
2 Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team)
3 Nicky Hayden (Honda World Superbike Team)
4 Michael van der Mark (Honda World Superbike Team)
5 Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team)
6 Lorenzo Savadori (IodaRacing Team)
7 Xavi Fores (Barni Racing Team)
8 Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team)
9 Alex De Angelis (IodaRacing Team)
10 Niccolò Canepa (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team)
11 Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse)
12 Anthony West (Pedercini Racing)
13 Joshua Brookes (Milwaukee BMW)
14 Karel Abraham (Milwaukee BMW)
15 Román Ramos (Team GoEleven)
Superbike Race 2
Rank Rider (Team)
1 Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team)
2 Davide Giugliano (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
3 Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
4 Xavi Fores (Barni Racing Team)
5 Nicky Hayden (Honda World Superbike Team)
6 Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team)
7 Michael van der Mark (Honda World Superbike Team)
8 Niccolò Canepa (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team)
9 Anthony West (Pedercini Racing)
10 Román Ramos (Team GoEleven)
11 Raffaele de Rosa (Althea BMW Racing Team)
12 Karel Abraham (Milwaukee BMW)
13 Dominic Schmitter (Grillini Racing Team)
14 Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team)
15 Saeed Al Sulaiti (Pedercini Racing)
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