Michael van der Mark expressed his delight at securing a first podium finish since the middle of April in the first World Superbike race at Misano, and believes, with the necessary improvements, that he can fight to repeat the feat on Sunday.
The Dutchman was keen to put an end to a difficult run of results that saw him finish outside the top three since his home race in Assen. Although happy with his set-up on Friday, van der Mark could only manage tenth place in Superpole.
Yet a fine getaway pushed him toward the podium places and, once Davide Giugliano and team-mate Nicky Hayden crashed out in separate incidents on lap two, van der Mark had to control the gap to Davies behind to collect a much needed 16 points.
“This is the result we needed and I'm so happy to be back on the podium,” said the Pata Honda rider, who climbs above Giugliano to fourth in the championship with this result.
“We have been quite fast throughout the weekend but definitely not enough, but yesterday afternoon I was finally happy with the set-up of the bike.
“Superpole 2 didn't go as planned but I was really lucky in turn two after the race start: I played a little bit safe so, when the guys in front of me crashed out, I could make up some places. Davide (Giugliano) and Nicky's crashes were like a warning for me, because definitely the feeling with the front was not the best.
“Jonathan (Rea) and Tom (Sykes) pulled away but I kept my head down and, towards the end, I could see that Chaz was coming up really strong but my pace was really good in the final laps.
“I take this podium with both hands and I look forward to tomorrow: if we manage to improve the feeling with the front, then we'll be up for another great race.”
Team-mate Hayden was frustrated to see his chances of a strong result ruined by an early spill at the final turn. A slightly increased entry speed coupled with the bumpy surface was enough to spell the end of the American's race.
“I had a good start and was closing up on the Kawasakis, when Giugliano lost the front and I had to wait a little before opening the gas.
“At the last turn I ended up on those couple of bumps just because I was simply one and a half km/h faster than the lap before. I went through that corner quicker yesterday, but this time I push too hard to stay with Rea and Sykes.
“It was just a rider error but It's a shame, because we had the pace to be on the podium. This is how it goes sometimes but I'm happy there's another race tomorrow.”