Michael Van Der Mark: Toprak Razgatlioglu ‘is a special rider’

After his best weekend since 2021, Michael Van Der Mark believes he’s gained back the confidence to be a challenger, while calling Toprak Razgatlioglu ‘special’.

Toprak Razgatlioglu, Michael Van Der Mark, Catalunya WorldSBK, Race2, 24 March
Toprak Razgatlioglu, Michael Van Der Mark, Catalunya WorldSBK, Race2, 24…

Michael Van Der Mark claimed a sixth and fourth place finish on Sunday at the Catalunya WorldSBK round.

After struggling late on in Race 1 with tyre wear, Van Der Mark showed no signs of slowing down during Race 2 as he finished behind team-mate Toprak Razgatlioglu.

Speaking after his P4 results, Van Der Mark said: “It was really nice. I had a good race starting from P6 after the Superpole Race.

“I had a good start and I felt really good but we knew it was going to be a long race. In the beginning we were not pushing too hard but I wanted to stay out of trouble.

“Some guys push really hard in the beginning and it’s difficult to stay calm. But I managed to get going and get past them. I was P5 for a long time in the race.

“I just tried to manage the tyre because yesterday that's where I lost a lot of time. At the end of the race; Iannone crashed and then I was P4.

“I had a nice gap to Petrucci so I just managed it and came home in fourth.”

Van Der Mark, who is now fully fit after two heavily compromised seasons in 2023 and 2022, has been fast throughout 2024 so far.

And that in an even bigger way during the Spanish round, claiming his confidence is back.

“Australia was already quite good but this whole weekend has been really good and we got a good confidence,” added the Dutch rider.

“The bike has been working so good working together with Toprak. This was one of our worst tracks but look what Toprak did. Two victory’s and a podium. 

“Okay, yesterday I was ninth but today sixth and then fourth so for me, I gained a lot of confidence back.”

While Van Der Mark’s performances were impressive, so were those of Razgatlioglu, who stole the show in Barcelona.

Winner of Race 1 and the Superpole Race at a track that Ducati love, Razgatlioglu proved once again why he’s arguably the best rider in the series.

Speaking about the performance of Razgatlioglu, Van Der Mark added: “It’s very special. We know that he is a special rider but he showed straight away that the bike isn’t as bad as everyone thought.

“I was just unlucky the last two years and not being fit. But we always try to work and get this project right.

“Last year’s results weren’t as good as we wanted but the direction we went in seems to be the right one.”

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