The Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team with Rizla worked through a detailed programme to start round four of the FIM Superbike World Championship at MotorLand Aragón today.
With cooler temperatures and distinctly different track conditions expected again tomorrow, both Michael van der Mark and Toprak Razgatlıoğlu focused on refining the set-up of their Yamaha R1 machines for the three points-paying races coming this weekend.
27-year-old Dutchman Van der Mark led the Pata Yamaha contingent, setting the ninth-fastest overall time of 1’51.060, clocked during the cooler morning of Friday’s two 50-minute Free Practice sessions.
Razgatlıoğlu was one of only four riders to improve their lap time in the afternoon as many, including the Pata Yamaha duo, opted to focus on race pace and tyre wear in the hotter conditions. He set a lap of 1’51.097 to jump from 13th in the morning to fourth quickest in FP2 and 10th overall, behind his team-mate.
Tomorrow the two Pata Yamaha riders will tackle the 18-lap, 91.386 km opening race at 14:00 local time (GMT+2) after the all-important Tissot Superpole qualifying at 11:00, which determines the grid positions for both Race 1 and the 10-lap Tissot Superpole Race on Sunday morning.
Michael van der Mark: P9 – 1’51.060
“We had a good test here but the bike feels a bit different than it did then, so we have worked to tweak the set-up a little bit. I think if you look back at today’s results, the position isn’t really an indication of where we are – our pace is really good and the feeling on the bike is too, so we just have to get everything together. The race pace is solid, so I’m not really worried about that, just some small things to find some extra grip and overall performance – then we are ready.”
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu: P10 – 1’51.097
“Today was not a bad start, we tried to find more grip with the bike because it is very important for this track and for the rear tyre life, and we want to fight for the win. Now we are ready with a good set-up and tomorrow morning we will try again to make another step forward. We will see if it is possible to fight for victory in Race 1. It’s not an easy track but I feel we are improving step-by-step.”
Paul Denning, Team Principal
“It’s been an interesting first day’s work here at Aragon, with conditions that seem to be quite different to the test that we recently conducted. The best lap times for the top group are all very, very close but the result here will come from being able to maintain a decent lap time for the full race distance. It looks like we’ve made some good improvements with rear grip and rear stability. Despite the quite competitive performances today, there are still some steps that we need to take to get both Pata Yamaha riders fully comfortable and to exploit their full potential in the first race. Michael and Toprak did a lot of laps, particularly this afternoon, and managed to achieve a good rhythm. That’s always important in terms of studying the data and understanding where we can help them more.”