The Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team with Rizla is eager to again challenge for victory during the next two rounds of the FIM Superbike World Championship, starting this weekend at MotorLand Aragón, Spain, on 29-31 August.
The back-to-back events of Aragón and Teruel, held at the same venue, follow a successful restart to Pata Yamaha’s championship campaign, which saw at least one Yamaha R1 on the WorldSBK podium in each race at Jerez and Portimão.
In a recent two-day test to prepare for the upcoming races, Pata Yamaha riders Michael van der Mark and Toprak Razgatlıoğlu completed a combined total of 254 laps with a special focus on rear grip in hot conditions similar to those anticipated this weekend.
With clear aims to fight for the podium, both Van der Mark and Razgatlıoğlu will have their work cut out for them. At 5.077 km, Aragón is the longest circuit of the WorldSBK calendar in 2020 featuring a mixture of sweeping corners, tighter slow turns and a back straight more than a kilometre long.
Van der Mark has ridden to a top-five position aboard his R1 on no less than four occasions here, in 2017 and 2018. It will, of course, be Razgatlıoğlu’s first time on the Aragón grid in Yamaha colours, but he arrives in fine form and with four days of valuable track time at the circuit from both the recent and winter tests.
The Pata Yamaha team will have their first chance to size up the competition on Friday morning with Free Practice 1 and 2 at 10:30 and 15:00 local time (GMT+1), before the points-scoring race action kicks off on Saturday.
Michael van der Mark
“I’m really happy to go racing again, it’s going to be an exciting one I think because we had a very good test with some other top teams at Aragón a couple of weeks ago. So, we are looking forward to starting racing again! It will be interesting and tight, but my goal for this weekend is to take my first podium finish in Aragón and hopefully we can have a good battle for victory as well. I think we made some proper progress during the test, so we are ready to race and I’m just excited to start.”
“Aragón has not been the best track for me in the past, but after the last test I feel much better with the R1 here. We could find a big step in rear grip and tyre life, this is important. In Portimao I tried to win but we couldn’t quite do it. Here in Aragón I don’t know what’s possible, but I will give my best to fight at the front again, I think we can do well and hopefully get another podium.”
Paul Denning, Team Principal
“Aragón is a very challenging circuit, and one that we’ve struggled to fully exploit in the past, despite some highly competitive performances. The slow chicane leading onto the long straight means that acceleration is a key priority, and at the test the team and engineers were able to find some solutions that helped to find rear grip and chassis stability. This will hopefully allow Toprak and Michael to get the full potential from their R1 bikes. Two events and six races at this track over the next two weekends means that we have to perform as well as we possibly can – we have two highly motivated riders and a very focused crew, and we will be giving it everything!”