A Honda rider trying to compensate for a lack of acceleration by 'pushing hard' during braking and cornering.

It's been a familiar tale for Marc Marquez and his fellow RC213V competitors in MotoGP this season - but also applies to World Superbike, where Ten Kate Honda riders Michael van der Mark and Nicky Hayden likewise face a straight-line deficit.

"We found a lot [of power] during the winter, but still we have to push hard in the corners to stay with them," van der Mark told Crash.net at this weekend's Sepang round. "Every corner exit where we open full throttle we lose a bit. That is where I'd like to improve."

Told about the comparison with Marquez's comments last Sunday at Le Mans, the young Dutchman admitted it sounded 'quite similar'.

The 23-year-old was in contention to make his MotoGP debut as a stand-in for the injured Karel Abraham at his home Assen round last year, and continues to be linked with a possible grand prix seat for 2017.

"As a young rider you always want to go in MotoGP. But if I go there, I want a good option," he said. "I'm young, I need to decide and must be smart about it. It's not only for one year but also afterwards.

"At the moment it is quite difficult to really make a decision because I've not had a real offer from MotoGP yet. But there is a chance it will come. There are many things to consider... I want to win, I want to go in MotoGP. It's really difficult."

In terms of possible machinery the 2014 WSS champion, a Honda rider throughout his Supersport and Superbike career, added: "Well of course [Honda] have the first option on me and I will definitely not say I will leave Honda because they have been so good through all these years."

The most recent riders to make the notoriously tricky WSBK-to-MotoGP switch were Eugene Laverty and Loris Baz, in 2015.

"I'm impressed by Laverty," van der Mark said. "Last year it was quite difficult because the bike they were on - even Nicky [his 2015 team-mate] was not competitive. The bike he has this year is old but he is going fast. That's not only good for him but good for Superbike riders. Loris Baz is also doing well. I think it's good for the whole Superbike paddock to see those guys going fast."

Van der Mark is currently fourth in the WorldSBK standings (three podiums), with 2006 MotoGP champion Hayden ranked seventh (one podium) after five rounds of his rookie season.

How is it having Nicky as a team-mate?

"It's going good. He was quite fast from the start and I have not so much experience on different bikes and he has so much experience on all kinds of bikes. It's really good to have a guy like him as a team-mate - fast, with so much experience and knows what to change on the bike.

"His style is not really much different compared to mine. Last year with Sylvain it was quite a big difference. But with Nicky the only thing is he's using more rear brake than me. Overall we are quite similar. This is a good thing for all the team."

CLICK HERE to read the full interview with Michael van der Mark...

By Peter McLaren


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