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Australia: Second fastest van der Mark buoyed by race run

Always spectacular at Phillip Island, Michael van der Mark's second fastest pace is backed up by an equally impressive long-distance run.
As if the second fastest time at the close of day one at Phillip Island wasn't enough reason for cheer, Michael van der Mark was more than content with his feeling with two different tyre compounds on the first day of World Superbike free practice at Phillip Island.

The young Dutchman was in all-action form as he man-handled his Honda CBR1000RR around the Austrlian track to end the day 0.3s behind Friday pace setter Sylvain Guintoli.

Eighth fastest in FP1 – albeit just 0.2s slower than first – van der Mark embarked on a 17-lap run at the beginning of the afternoon session, and produced more than encouraging results, with nine of those clocking in under the 1m 32s marker.

“We started very well this morning and I was able to get up to speed quite quickly,” began van der Mark. “I decided not to go for a lap time in the end, as we were already pretty safe.

“This afternoon we tried a different tyre, I went out and we did a long run, which wasn't planned but it turned out to be a really good one.

“After that we opted for a different compound but I wasn't able to get the same feeling out of it. In the end I'm very happy with second place, we have qualified directly to Superpole 2 and I'm really looking forward to tomorrow.”

Technical manager Pieter Breddels added that he felt the Dutchman is more or less 'ready to race' with his current settings fitted.

“Michael has been consistently fast all day long and, unlike many other riders, he decided to go for a long run in the morning. He didn't change tyres and obviously didn't go for the quick lap.

“In the afternoon, we used a new set of tyres and he did a very good long run on it, while moving up to first place in the process. We tried some other tyre combination afterwards but the feeling was not the same. Overall I think we are ready to race with him.”


Tagged as: Honda , Guintoli , Phillip Island

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