Michael Van Der Mark hopeful of podium return in Assen: ‘It’s been a while!’

Michael Van Der Mark came within one position of a first WorldSBK podium since the last race of the 2021 season in Indonesia.

Michael van der Mark, Catalunya WorldSBK, 24 March
Michael van der Mark, Catalunya WorldSBK, 24 March

Michael Van Der Mark and team-mate Toprak Razgatlioglu both showed what they were capable of throughout the Catalunya WorldSBK round.

Razgatlioglu secured his first wins with BMW, while Van Der Mark secured his first top five finish in over two years.

Van Der Mark ended Race 2 in fourth position, one place behind Razgatlioglu who was beaten by Ducati for the first time all weekend after he also secured pole with a new lap record.

But for Van Der Mark, who spent much of the last two seasons dealing with injuries, looked back to his best.

So much so that the Dutch rider is hopeful of going even better at his home round in Assen next month.

Van Der Mark said: “It’d be really nice to get on the podium, it’s been a while! Honestly, we had a really strong weekend here and if we can do the same at Assen, with a little bit extra pressure, I hope to be on the podium there.”

One of the reasons for Van Der Mark’s improved results last weekend was his performance in Superpole which had previously been a struggle for him.

Van Der Mark was fourth fastest in Superpole, and now that the base of the M 1000 RR is stronger, the former Honda and Yamaha rider has more confidence as a result.

“I used to struggle a lot in Superpole but now we have such a good base and when we stick the Q tyre in, I feel like I can use the grip,” said Van Der Mark.

“It gives me a lot of confidence as well. I was surprised with my lap in Superpole but pretty happy with it.

“Toprak did a bit more but I was happy with it. With the level in this field now, this is what you need.”

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