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WSBK Thailand: van der Mark on rapid form in Thailand

Michael van der Mark lays out his intentions with a rapid turn on the first day of WSBK action in Thailand as he tops FP2 from Sylvain Guintoli.
CLICK HERE for WSBK free practice (2) results from Buriram

Michael van der Mark has ended the first day of action for the second round of the World Superbike Championship in Thailand with the quickest time, the Dutchman staving off a flurry of late quick laps to stay top.

With track conditions around the Chang International Circuit improving as the clock ticked down, van der Mark struck to the front with little more than ten minutes remaining with a 1min 34.770secs lap, but came under threat late on as several riders posted 'red' sectors with their latter efforts.

However, the Honda rider simply improved the benchmark to 1min 34.629secs with his final lap to go two tenths clear of second place Sylvain Guintoli, the Frenchman again hinting at the PATA Yamaha potential with the second best time.

Both found themselves a good six and four tenths up on third place man Jordi Torres, the Spaniard nonetheless impressing with two late improvements that lifted him and the Althea BMW he fell from in FP1 to third.

Alex Lowes consolidated Yamaha's efforts in fourth place, ahead of early championship leader Jonathan Rea, Honda's Nicky Hayden and Tom Sykes on the second of the Kawasakis.

On what has been a low key start to the weekend for the Ducati team, Chaz Davies and Davide Giugliano squeezed into the top ten – and therefore into an automatic Superpole 2 slot – in eighth and ninth, while Markus Reiterberger makes up the final SP2 contender, meaning Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Ducati and Althea have both riders represented.

Just missing out on the top ten by just 0.006secs, Milwaukee BMW's Josh Brookes will be made to try and reach SP2 via SP1 tomorrow, as will FP1 pace setter Leon Camier on the MV Agusta.

Meanwhile, there were technical issues for Karel Abraham, Roman Ramos, Alex de Angelis and Lorenzo Savadori, leaving them 14th, 17th, 18th and 19th, while Sylvain Barrier was a faller from his Pedercini Kawasaki.
by Ollie Barstow



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