Van der Mark Impresses with Spanish Podium
(CREDIT: Honda Worldwide)
Michael van der Mark took the third podium of his rookie World Superbike championship season today, taking his Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP to third place in the first race of round 11 of the series at Jerez in Spain. The race was won by Tom Sykes.
Starting from fourth place on the grid, van der Mark dropped a position going into turn one but never lost touch with the leaders. By mid-race, the 22-year-old had passed Jonathan Rea, who finished fourth to secure the 2015 World Superbike championship title.
It was van der Mark’s first podium since he doubled up at Assen in the Netherlands in April and in this afternoon’s second race he looked to be on his way to another double podium. He had fought his way up to fourth place and was challenging Leon Haslam for the final podium position when he crashed unhurt at turn six.
Van der Mark was able to right his lightly-damaged CBR and re-join the race, matching the lap times of eventual winer, Chaz Davies. The Dutch rider finished in 13th place to consolidate seventh place in the overall championship standings.
Pata Honda team-mate Sylvain Guintoli, meanwhile, was unable to match the pace of van der Mark in today’s two races. The French rider finished 10th in race one and 9th in the second 20-lap outing at the 4.423km Jerez circuit.
The Pata Honda team will remain at Jerez for a one-day official test tomorrow before heading back to the workshop in the Netherlands to prepare for the penultimate round of the season at Magny-Cours in France on 2 October.
Honda Rider Comments
- Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Superbike Team)
Race result: 3rd / 13th
- “All weekend I’ve had some difficulties with the clutch, so the start in race one was not perfect. I managed to stay with the guys even though I was missing some grip at the beginning. As the pace dropped a little I was able to close the gap but I had to wait a little more before I could pass Leon [Haslam] and Jonathan [Rea]. I tried to close the gap to Chaz [Davies] but the grip was not there. Race two was a little bit similar at the beginning and I closed the gap to the front as the pace began to drop. I had a good feeling when I got to the back of Torres and Haslam so I was holding back a little bit because I saw they were pushing really hard. Then I just lost the front in a slow corner and crashed. I was able to get back on and do some good lap times before the end of the race and I think overall I must be happy with the performance this weekend. We finally had a weekend without problems and that’s really good for my motivation, and of course the podium is great motivation for the whole team.”
- Sylvain Guintoli (Pata Honda World Superbike Team)
Race result: 10th / 9th
- “It’s been a difficult Sunday. I thought we could have done a bit better than this, to be honest, but it was a bit of a struggle. I was trying really hard in the races and maybe that wasn’t the best thing. I just lost my mojo a bit and didn’t feel comfortable. The feeling was not good and the pace wasn’t there so it’s been a very difficult Sunday. We need to have a sit down to put it back together. Hopefully it will be a different story at Magny-Cours; it’s a track I really like and I want to finish the season strongly so I’ll reflect on what happened here and why I was so slow and try to understand how to pick it back up.”
- Pieter Breddels (Pata Honda World Superbike Team)
- “Sylvain struggled a little today. We made some changes on the bike which didn’t really work out and he wasn’t able to get into a rhythm in either race. It’s a shame because on Friday everything was looking quite good, but he wasn’t able to show his full potential today. The next round is at Magny-Cours though, and we know he’ll be back then. Michael showed really good pace all weekend and his qualifying performance yesterday gave him the boost he needed to race for the podium. It’s the first podium for him and the team since Assen and it makes us really happy, especially here at Jerez, which has not been a good circuit for us in the past. In race two Michael was challenging again but, even after his crash, he was able to put in some impressive lap times, matching those of the race win er. Overall it was a good weekend for Michael and it’s good that he has been able to show his potential along with that of the team and the CBR.”
Second Place for Jacobsen as WSS Season Restarts at Jerez
PJ Jacobsen (Core” Motorsport Thailand Honda) earned a second place finish in the FIM Supersport World Championship race at Jerez de la Frontera, Spain, having qualified in third position on the grid.
The warm conditions in Spain provided a dry track surface for the 27 competing riders at the 4.423km circuit but from the start Jacobsen had to work hard to stay in contention with eventual race winer Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki). The Turkish rider’s lead waxed and waned through the race, with Jacobsen trying to reach and then pass him, to cut his pre-race points deficit. At the end of 19 intense laps Jacobsen was to finish second, if only 1.037 seconds behind.
Jacobsen continued his perfect podiums score of four from four since he joined the Core” Motorsport Thailand Honda team and he moved into second place in the championship, as the third realistic championship contender, Jules Cluzel, suffered a serious leg fracture in practice and missed the race. Jacobsen is now 33 points behind Sofuoglu, with two rounds remaining.
Kyle Smith (Pata Honda) had an ultimately positive experience at his adopted home round, with the Spanish resident British rider finishing fourth and moving to within eight points of fifth place, despite experiencing some issues in the early laps with a full fuel load onboard. Smith had to fight to keep his position at that stage but was a clear fourth at the flag after he picked up some pace. He was more than four seconds up on Cluzel’s late replacement, Nico Terol (MV Agusta).
A season best ninth place for Kevin Wahr (SMS Racing Honda) saw him improve one position in the overall championship fight, from 17th to 18th, going from 16th to a deserved finish inside the top ten.
A sometimes-dramatic race saw Roberto Rolfo (Team Lorini Honda) run off track and drop back to 21st place at one stage, after experiencing some issues with his braking system’s consistency. The experienced rider managed the situation well to move back to tenth place, the same position he had qualified in.
Rolfo’s team-mate Marcos Ramirez was 12th on his Team Lorini Honda, heading up Australian Aiden Wagner (CIA Landlords Insurance Honda) and Colombian Martin Cardenas (CIA Landlords Insurance Honda), in 13th and 14th places respectively. The latter had his own dramatic race going from 12th to 21st and back to 14th after his ignition was shut off inadvertently for a time.
Wild card rider Janos Chrobak (Schmidt Racing Honda) placed 15th and took the last point on offer, while series regular Glenn Scott (AARK Racing Honda) was 16th and just missed out.
Wildcard David Juhasz (Schmidt Racing Honda) was 19th and Nacho Calero (Orelac Racing Team Honda) 20th. Kevin Manfredi (CIA Landlords Insurance Honda) no scored due to a retirement in the pits
Gino Rea (CIA Landlords Insurance Honda) was forced off track at one stage and then fell as he tried to get back into contention, no scoring but maintaining his overall fifth position in the points.
The next round of the championship at Magny-Cours in France, on Sunday 4th October is the final one in Europe, before the championship moves on the finale at Losail in Qatar on 18th October.
Honda Rider Comments
- PJ Jacobsen (Core” Motorsport Thailand Honda)
Race result: 2nd
- “The bike felt awesome for the first half of the race and I was with Kenan, just a small distance back. I just could not get the gap to him and he rode really well today. Kenan beat us fair and square and he just looked like he had some better tire life at the end. I kind of wrecked my tire and with five laps to go I could not find the grip in the front or the rear. It was quite difficult when the heat started to play a part at the end of the race.”
- Kyle Smith (Pata Honda)
Race result: 4th
- “I struggled a bit at the beginning of the race like I have for most of the season. I’m not sure whether it’s bike set-up or the full tank of fuel but I just can’t seem to hold the pace at the beginning of races. But halfway in the pace was really, really strong and I managed to claw my way back to fourth. I really felt like I had the pace to run with the front two but I just couldn’t make up the gap because of the amount that I’d lost at the beginning of the race. It’s something to work on for the next round, even though we’ve had the same problem all season. But we’ll see if we can come up with something!”
- Kevin Wahr (SMS Racing Honda)
Race result: 9th
- “This was the first really good weekend for us. We have had some good points before but we have had bad luck with technical problems four times, and two crashes, so this year has not been easy. I also had a crash at the beginning of this weekend and some pain but in the race I was full of adrenaline. I was in 16th position, which gives us nothing, so I pushed and pushed in the first five or six laps and overtook some riders. At the end Gamarino passed me because his pace was a bit better but ninth position makes us absolutely happy.”
- Roberto Rolfo (Team Lorini Honda)
Race result: 10th
- “I had some problems with the brake. In the warm-up lap I realized that the lever was coming too close to the bar and I tried to adjust it. In the first lap the brake was OK but on the second lap I was off the track twice, at turn six and the last corner. I lost a lot of places but I got going again and I adjusted it through the race. I went from 21st at one point to tenth at the end but for sure I was not happy. It is a shame because I think seventh was possible today; that was my target.”
- Aiden Wagner (CIA Landlords Insurance Honda)
Race result: 13th
- “My race was OK and I was close with the 12th and 11th placed riders during the race. I got to 12th in the last lap but made a mistake in the last turn and dropped back to 13th. Not ideal for me as we are still having a few little gremlins here and there with the set-up of the bike, for my style. Each weekend we still get stronger so I look forward to Magny-Cours and will put in 100%.”
- Martin Cardenas (CIA Landlords Insurance Honda)
Race result: 14th
- “I think I had a good pace for the race but after a few laps I made a mistake, maybe, with a movement of my hand and shut-off the bike in the last corner. When I got on the gas to exit the corner the bike was dead and I pulled over. I saw that the screen and ignition switch were off, so I put them back on and rejoined. I got back on just to ride again, and prepare for next round, but I got some positions back and then scored some points.”
- Gino Rea (CIA Landlords Insurance Honda)
Race result: RT
- “I got a good start and I had the pace there but then Mahias, obviously something went wrong with his bike, just sat up and in the middle of the track. I had nowhere to go and ran into the back of him. I lost positions and dropped quite far back. I got my head down and came through the pack. I was catching the group again and I felt good but ran a tiny little bit wide for the second fast right and on the exit the front was a bit light. As soon as I hit the kerb, it just slid and I went straight down.”
World Superbike and World Supersport 2015
Round 11: Circuito de Jerez – Spain
|1||T. SYKES (Kawasaki Racing Team)|
|2||C. DAVIES (Aruba.it Racing-Ducati SBK Team)|
|3||M. VD MARK (PATA Honda World Superbike Team)|
|4||J. REA (Kawasaki Racing Team)|
|5||L. HASLAM (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils)|
|6||M. PIRRO (Aruba.it Racing-Ducati SBK Team)|
|10||S. GUINTOLI (PATA Honda World Superbike Team)|
|1||C. DAVIES (Aruba.it Racing-Ducati SBK Team)|
|2||J. TORRES (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils)|
|3||L. HASLAM (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils)|
|4||J. REA (Kawasaki Racing Team)|
|5||T. SYKES (Kawasaki Racing Team)|
|6||M. BAIOCCO (Althea Racing)|
|9||S. GUINTOLI (PATA Honda World Superbike Team)|
|13||M. VD MARK (PATA Honda World Superbike Team)|
|1||K. SOFUOGLU (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing)|
|2||P. JACOBSEN (CORE” Motorsport Thailand)|
|3||L. ZANETTI (MV Agusta Reparto Corse)|
|4||K. SMITH (PATA Honda World Supersport Team)|
|5||N. TEROL (MV Agusta Reparto Corse)|
|6||M. FACCANI (San Carlo Puccetti Racing)|
|9||K. WAHR (SMS Racing)|
|10||R. ROLFO (Team Lorini)|
|12||M. RAMIREZ (Team Lorini)|
|13||A. WAGNER (CIA Landlords Insurance Honda)|
|14||M. CARDENAS (CIA Landlords Insurance Honda)|
|15||J. CHROBAK (Schmidt Racing)|
|16||G. SCOTT (AARK Racing)|
|19||D. JUHASZ (Schmidt Racing)|
|20||N. CALERO (Orelac Racing Team)|
|RT||K. MANFREDI (CIA Landlords Insurance Honda)|
|RT||G. REA (CIA Landlords Insurance Honda)|