The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team of Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark are ready to return to action for round ten of the 2017 FIM World Superbike Championship in Portimao after a month’s break since the last race in Germany. Lowes is refreshed and wants to follow up his double top-six finish at the Lausitzring with another strong performance, while his teammate van der Mark is looking to impress after it was announced he will be Valentino Rossi’s replacement for the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team at Aragon.
Lowes finished in sixth and fifth respectively in Races 1 and 2 at the Lausitzring, showing good pace throughout the weekend on his Pata Yamaha R1. The 26-year-old British rider enjoys the challenging Portimao track and is keen to return to action after training hard since the last round at Germany. Lowes wants to develop the form that has seen him on the rostrum twice so far in 2017, as he looks to establish himself as a regular podium contender. He currently occupies fifth in the championship standings with 169 points.
Van der Mark is excited to get back to action at one of the few tracks on the calendar he has previously ridden his Yamaha R1, following the team’s pre-season Portimao test.. The 24-year-old Dutch rider secured some vital championship points last time out in Germany despite a challenging weekend and has been buoyed by the news that he will get a chance to ride Valentino Rossi’s Yamaha M1 at the Gran Premio Movistar de Aragón on the 22nd-24th of September for the factory Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team, as the nine-time World Champion recovers from injury. . Portimao is one of van der Mark’s favourite tracks and he is fully focused on continuing the progress he has made during his first season with the Pata Yamaha team. He is currently seventh in the championship standings with 135 points, just 11 points behind the rider in sixth.
The Prosecco DOC Portuguese Round takes place at the iconic Autódromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimao, as the WorldSBK championship returns to the track after a year’s absence. The circuit is located in the Algarve region in Southern Portugal and is known for its challenging layout, which includes a mix of fast sweeping turns and slower hairpins, incredible elevation changes, and an undulating 970m long start/finish straight. Opened in 2008, it held its first WorldSBK round that year and is 4,592m in length, with six left and eight right-handed corners. After the weekend, the team will stay on at Portimao on Monday for an official one-day test.
The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team kick off the action on Friday with FP1 at 9.45am local time, with qualifying on Saturday starting at 11am, while Saturday’s Race 1 and Sunday’s Race 2 will both start at 3pm.
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team
“It seems like we have had a long time off since Germany but I’ve had a really good few weeks away from the track. I took a small holiday to the South of France and I have been working hard since I got back. I have been training as always with my guys in the gym, plus I managed to get a few days on the flat track bikes too – it’s always important to be riding and flat track works well for me. I am looking forward to Portimao because it’s a track that is really exciting and lots of fun to ride, it’s a real thrill to make a fast lap. I am fully focused on improving mine and the team’s results on the R1 before the end of the year and cannot wait to get back on track!”
Michael van der Mark
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team
“After a difficult weekend at the Lausitzring, I am looking forward to Portimao a lot. We had a good test there during the winter, so I have experience of riding at the circuit on the Yamaha R1 already and it is also one of my favourite tracks. It’s always a difficult track to setup the bike because it is such a unique circuit, and incorporates lots of different requirements over the lap, but that’s also why I like it so much. Obviously, I am excited about the opportunity Yamaha has given me in Aragon but I am fully focused now on me and my R1 performing well at Portimao – I’m looking forward to getting into the fight with the top guys this weekend!”