Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team with Rizla riders Michael van der Mark and Toprak Razgatlıoğlu both made positive progress to finish Race 1 in the top five at the Teruel FIM Superbike World Championship round at MotorLand Aragón today.
During the Tissot Superpole session, Van der Mark was fastest of all riders in the first sector of the tricky Spanish circuit and on course to set an impressive overall qualifying time, when unfortunately, the Dutchman was held up by another rider on the 5.077 km lap. He managed to make a second lap on the Pirelli qualifying tyre but was unable to improve on his start position of 12th for the race.
With work to do to make up places, the 27-year-old kept his cool to finish fourth in his 150th WorldSBK race with a mature ride using the softer “X” tyre, normally selected for the 10-lap sprint race, to find more grip.
Razgatlıoğlu made a lightening start from a much-improved seventh on the grid and was able to cut through the field to fourth position in the first corner. This enabled him to go with the front runners in the early stages of the race, however he began to lose time as grip levels dropped and eventually finished just behind team-mate Van der Mark in fifth position.
Tomorrow morning the two Pata Yamaha riders look to come out swinging in the Tissot Superpole Race at 11:00 local time (GMT+2), as they fight to improve their grid position for Race 2 at 14:00.
For full Tissot Superpole results, click here.
For full Race 1 results, click here.
Michael van der Mark: P4
“This morning we were just unlucky in Superpole, I caught a slower rider on my quick lap so I had to roll off and try again, but the best of the tyre was gone so I had to start from 12th position – which is far from ideal, especially at this track. We knew we had a good pace and would need to have a good start – I managed to pass a couple of guys from the beginning but I was using the softer “X” tyre and understood that I had to stay calm and try to be consistent. It was a bit of a lonely race after I’d made the initial passes but it worked out to stay calm and consistent, and in the end we finished fourth which is not so bad. I think we can improve the bike a little bit and tomorrow in the Superpole Race I need to fight hard for a better starting position.”
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu: P5
“Today my qualifying position was not bad, much better than last weekend, but I went wide at Turn 1 of my fast lap so maybe there was more time to be gained. From seventh position on the grid, I made a good start on my Yamaha R1 and in the beginning of the race I tried to follow Redding in the front group. My rear grip was better than last weekend but after six laps it was not possible to keep going forward with the podium group. We take good points in fifth today, and tomorrow we will fight in the Superpole Race to get a good starting position for Race 2.”
Paul Denning, Team Principal
“The only target for this back-to-back Aragon event was to improve from last weekend, and today’s race showed that we managed to take some decent steps forward. Michael rode a very strong race, managing the softest “X” tyre excellently. Despite starting from 12th, from the first lap he fought his way through very well. With a better grid position, which was compromised in qualifying by running into traffic on a lap that looked like it would have achieved a front row start, we believe Michael would have been in the podium fight. Toprak qualified well, a good step forward from last weekend and then raced very hard, but unfortunately ran out of grip earlier than Michael. Nonetheless, a fifth position keeps him very much in the fight for third place overall in the championship. He himself has improved his understanding of the key to this Aragon circuit and hopefully we can take another step forward tomorrow. Finally, congratulations to the GoEleven team and to their rider Michael Ruben Rinaldi – to win your first WorldSBK race in such dominant fashion is a real thrill!”