Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team with Rizla riders Michael van der Mark and Toprak Razgatlıoğlu both maximised their potential to finish in the top seven during Race 2 at MotorLand Aragón today.
With stiff competition on arguably the most challenging circuit of the season for the team, the Pata Yamaha riders had their work cut out for them from the start of the six WorldSBK races held at this venue within the last two weekends.
Van der Mark fought to a strong result from a tough situation with sixth-place in Race 2, climbing through the field from 12th following yesterday’s disappointing qualifying session. He had finished 10th in the Tissot Superpole Race after a valiant effort to try and overhaul Tom Sykes on the final lap for the third row of Race 2. As only the top nine positions earn grid positions, he was forced yet again to start from 12th in the second feature race.
For Razgatlıoğlu, the story of today was a promising one, as he started from seventh on the grid in the sprint race due to his improved qualifying position from yesterday. Despite finishing in the same place as he started in both of the Sunday races, the young Turkish rider improved his rear tyre wear management to maintain strong pace even in the final stages of Race 2.
The Pata Yamaha team now looks forward to the next round, just down the road at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on 18-20 September. After a successful private test in Barcelona prior to the WorldSBK season restart, both riders are eager to have another shot at the podium and fight for victory as soon as possible.
Michael van der Mark: SPRC – P10 / Race 2 – P6
“It was a difficult Superpole Race this morning, I was expecting more but I didn’t have a good feeling with the bike and we didn’t have the grip I was hoping for, so I was really disappointed to finish 10th. The goal was to get up at least one row and have a better starting position for Race 2 – we didn’t, and had to start P12 again. I made up the places really quick in the main race and just got into a rhythm. I couldn’t do more than to stay consistent. It was a long race and I think we maybe chose the wrong rear tyre, but finishing sixth overall coming from 12th isn’t that bad. On the whole, I think there have been a lot of positives this weekend, it just didn’t come together in today’s races, mainly due to the qualifying position.”
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu: SPRC – P7 / Race 2 – P7
“Today, my team did incredible work for me to find a good set-up on my Yamaha R1. This weekend we tried our best but it was only possible to finish in seventh, so while I cannot be fully happy, I really want to thank the team for all their incredible work to help me over the past two weeks. At this Aragón track, I really tried my hardest to be fast but it was not possible in the end. Next race, we will try our best to be closer to the front. Now I am third in the championship again but it is a close fight, so we will see how everything goes in the next races – I want to fight for the win again.”
Paul Denning, Team Principal
“It’s been a challenging two weeks for the Pata Yamaha team here in Aragón, as we expected. But the team, engineers and riders honestly couldn’t have given any more. On Michael’s side, yesterday’s qualifying problems came back to haunt us yet again today. To come from 12th on the first lap and expect to have a good position in a 10-lap Superpole Race against such quality competition was a tall ask even in the best conditions. A poor start from 12th in this afternoon’s feature race again made things difficult, so to come through strongly to sixth position was a positive result. Toprak has been a step behind Michael in each of the races here at Aragón – this afternoon was also tough but he gave 100 percent on every lap, always fought for the maximum position and definitely learnt a lot especially today in terms of tyre management and improving in the latter part of the race. He’s now back to third in the riders’ championship with Michael not far behind in fifth. Barcelona and Magny-Cours will suit the R1 far better and we aim to be back on the podium there.”