Michael van der Mark says he leaves the first pre-season test of 2017 full of confidence and encouragement with Pata Yamaha after making vital set-up steps as he gains familiarity with the YZF-R1.

The 2014 World Supersport champion has switched from Ten Kate Honda to the factory Yamaha squad in World Superbikes this season and having spent the past five years on Honda machinery, van der Mark's main focus has been adjusting to the characteristics of the Yamaha.

Having made his Pata Yamaha testing debut in November, the Dutch rider notched up 145 laps over the two-day Jerez test with a best time of 1m 41.450s, and has been relishing the fresh challenge.

"It's been another busy test," van der Mark said. "During the morning we made a big step forward with the handling of the bike and I felt so much more confident. After that we just kept trying different chassis elements to see what I prefer or not.

"On day two we proved that we are really consistent which is good but we still have to make another step. I'm sure the guys have enough data to work on to improve the bike even more so we will see what Portimao brings."

Pata Yamaha and a number of other World Superbikes squads now travel to Portimao for a further two-day test on the 28-29 January before heading to Phillip Island for the final pre-season test and the 2017 season opener on the 24-26 February.


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