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van der Mark extends lead with Donington win

25 May 2014

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  • Michael van der Mark picks off his rivals to claim his second WSS win of the season at Donington Park
  • The PATA Honda rider extends his championship lead after rebuffing Jules Cluzel in a thrilling final lap
  • Sofuoglu led initially only to drop back with a mysterious technical issue before fighting back to fourth place

Michael van der Mark has increased his advantage at the top of the 2014 World Supersport Championship standings after a meticulous run to victory at Donington Park over Jules Cluzel and Kev Coghlan.

The Dutchman had started from pole position, but his route to victory would be a complicated one as a poor start left him down in sixth position and on the back foot during the early stages of the race.

Instead, it was Kenan Sofuoglu that would break through into the lead at the start to establish an early advantage, chased by Kev Coghlan, PJ Jacobsen, Lorenzo Zanetti, Jules Cluzel and the poor starting van der Mark.

Indeed, Sofuoglu appeared comfortable before mysteriously slowing down on the exit of Goddards and dropping back on lap ten. Coming in a season that has seen him suffer a myriad of costly technical issues – including last time out at Imola and even during today's morning warm-up – it seemed Sofuoglu was heading for retirement, only for him to get straight back up to speed again, albeit now in sixth.

Up front, Coghlan assumed the lead as he made his pitch for a maiden WSS win on home soil, but his joy would only last until lap 13 when Cluzel slipped by at the Old Hairpin to assume the advantage for Yakhnich MV Agusta.

van der Mark, meanwhile, was steadily working his way back into contention, latching onto the four-strong lead group – minus Sofuoglu and Jacobsen now – and rising to third when team-mate Zanetti retired with technical issues.

Quickly moving into second place at the expense of Coghlan, who would begin to fade thereafter, the fight for the win would come down to a battle between Cluzel and van der Mark, the Dutchman having nosed ahead for the first time with five laps remaining.

Building to a crescendo of a final lap, Cluzel following van der Mark, the Frenchman would choose his moment into the Melbourne hairpin, but while he had the line, he would run wide to allow his rival a chance to undercut him.

Meeting on the apex, the pair would make contact, with van der Mark carrying his momentum through into a lead he would hold on to as they rounded Goddards and across the line for the final time.

A second win of the season for van der Mark, it is a success that sees him extend his advantage overall on a day where his closest rivals otherwise struggled. It means his lead has risen to 14 points over Florian Marino, who finished a still noteworthy fifth despite starting down in 16th place after a qualifying crash.

Coghlan completed the podium alongside Cluzel for his second rostrum of the year, while Sofuoglu recovered back to fourth position following his strange power-outage. The title favourite is now 52 points off the overall lead.

Finishing behind his Intermoto Kawasaki team-mate, Jacobsen crossed the line in sixth, ahead of Jack Kennedy, Roberto Tamburini, Raffaele de Rosa – up from 22nd on the grid – and Roberto Rolfo in tenth.

Completing the points, Marco Bussolotti, Ratthapark Wilairot, Riccardo Russo, Alessandro Nocco and Vladimir Leonov – who ran off on the first lap – make up 11th to 15th.


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