Yamaha’s R1 riders head into Round 7 of the FIM Superbike World Championship in Misano keen to repeat the success of Jerez, where Michael van der Mark secured his first race win of the season with a dominant ride to victory in Race 2 – a fitting end to a weekend that saw the Pata Yamaha WorldSBK rider finish as the top points scorer. A resurgent Marco Melandri also added to his podium tally with third place in Race 1 in Jerez, while GRT Yamaha Supported WorldSBK teammate, Sandro Cortese, secured his best result of his debut WorldSBK season with sixth place in Race 2.
While Jerez proved an unlucky round for Alex Lowes, with a series of incidents seeing him pick up just two points, the 28-year-old Briton’s speed and consistency over the course of the weekend means that he heads to Misano with his sights set firmly on a return to the podium. After a solid debut in Jerez for the Ten Kate Yamaha Supported WorldSBK squad, which culminated in a top ten finish in Race 2, Loris Baz heads to Misano keen to close the gap on his Yamaha mounted rivals.
Van der Mark heads into the Misano weekend riding a wave of confidence, after a stellar performance in Jerez. Podium finishes in both Race 1 and the Superpole Sprint Race proved just a warm-up for the Pata Yamaha rider, who went on to claim his and Yamaha’s first race win of the 2019 season with a dominant ride to victory in Race 2. It’s a performance that the 26-year-old is keen to repeat this weekend in Misano, a track at which all five Yamaha riders tested a few short weeks ago.
Lowes was denied a podium finish in Race 1 when he was the innocent victim in a last lap, last corner incident with Jonathan Rea, for which the reigning World Champion was later penalised. Unfortunate crashes in the remaining two races may have made it a weekend to forget for Lowes, but the 28-year-old Briton showed he had the pace for the podium and, as a result, heads into the Misano race weekend confident he can fight at the front once again
Jerez saw Melandri return to the podium for this first time since the opening race in Australia and, having found a set-up on the GRT Yamaha R1 that better suits his riding style, the veteran Italian is confident that there is more to come. Melandri rates Misano as one of his favourite tracks and he heads to Italy’s Adriatic coast determined to give his home crowd something to cheer about this weekend.
Sixth in Race 2 in Jerez, his best result of the season to date, means Cortese heads into the Misano weekend with the top five firmly in his sights. Like Jerez, Misano is a track the reigning Supersport World Champion knows well and one of the very few circuits at which he’s tested the R1 prior to a race weekend.
Baz rounded out his debut race weekend aboard the Ten Kate Yamaha R1 with a top ten finish in Jerez, a result that Frenchman is keen to build on this weekend in Misano. Baz and the team still face a steep learning curve, after returning to the championship midseason, but the Ten Kate Yamaha rider is confident that their combined experience will stand them in good stead as they work to close the gap on the other four Yamaha riders.
The Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli is a fast, flowing, and technical track located next to the picturesque town of Misano Adriatico in the province of Rimini, North East Italy. A firm favourite with riders and fans alike, it held its first event in 1972 and has been a permanent fixture on the WorldSBK calendar since 1993. The track underwent extensive modifications in 2006, with the direction reversed so that races now run in a clockwise direction. The iconic track, which is 4.226km in length, comprises ten right and six left-handed corners together with a 510m long start-finish straight.
Michael van der Mark
Pata Yamaha WorldSBK
“We had a great weekend in Jerez with two podium finishes and our first race win of the season, so we head to Misano now with a really good feeling. We tested in Misano less than a month ago and, although the weather wasn’t ideal, we got enough dry track time to make things a little easier for us to get up to speed quickly this weekend. We have a really good package now, as we saw in Jerez, so I’m pretty sure we can enjoy another great weekend in Misano and fight once again for podium finishes in all three races.”
Pata Yamaha WorldSBK
“After a good test in Misano a few weeks ago, and with speed we showed in Jerez, I’m looking forward to getting back on track this weekend. We didn’t get the results we were hoping for in Jerez, but rather than going into Misano looking to make amends, I’m going to stick to the working process with my guys that has worked so well for us all year. We showed we had the pace to challenge for the podium in Jerez, so we know we can do the same this weekend in Misano. It’s always a great atmosphere when you race in Italy and, unlike the test, this weekend looks like it’s going to be a scorcher!”
GRT Yamaha Supported WorldSBK
“I am looking forward to Misano, as it’s one of my favourite tracks and it’s where we made a significant step forward with the R1 during the recent test, identifying a set-up that works really well with my riding style. After Jerez, where my both my confidence and pace were improving day by day along, the whole team is full motivated to keep working and to keep improving. The weather is going to be hot; I’m feeling good and I’m sure it’s going to be a great weekend.”
GRT Yamaha Supported WorldSBK
“I’m feeling confident and looking forward to returning to Misano, where we tested a few weeks ago. The updates we received from Yamaha at the test were a big help and allowed me to secure my best result to date in Jerez last time out. My confidence in the bike is increasing and the smaller fuel tank has allowed me to be more relaxed on the bike, as well as improving my feeling. Misano, like Jerez, is a racetrack I know well and while I’m confident we can continue our run of top ten finishes there, the goal has to be to start closing on the top five. The weather forecast looks good, the track is very beautiful, and I can’t wait to race there once again.”
Ten Kate Yamaha Supported WorldSBK
“I’m looking forward to getting back on the R1 in Misano, after we learned so much during our first race weekend in Jerez. We made improvements and increased our knowledge of the bike over the three days in Jerez, which I was happy with. Now we head to Misano, where we already have an idea of what to expect, having completed our first ever test with the R1 at the circuit a few weeks ago. I think what we discovered with the bike between Race 1 and Race 2 in Jerez will help us to make another big step this weekend. In Jerez the group battling to finish in the top five were just a few seconds in front of me, so the target for Misano is to try and close this gap. It looks like we’ll have good weather and a good crowd, so I can’t wait to get started.”