Round 09 Pirelli Riviera Di Rimini Round 06 - 08 Jul
Photos Martina & Mario yamaha.com
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team rider Michael van der Mark took a fantastic fourth place during Round 9 of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship
at Misano today, having started the first race from 11th position on the grid. Wild card rider Niccolò Canepa secured his first championship points of the season with a solid 12th place finish, while Alex Lowes was disappointed to record his first DNF
of 2018 after a crash ruled him out of the race with 10 laps remaining.The race was run in typically hot and humid conditions with no sign of the rain showers that disrupted proceedings on the opening day in Misano. After a difficult qualifying van der Mark
started from 11th on the grid, with teammate Lowes alongside him in 12th, despite showing front row pace, and Canepa two rows further back in 16th position. Van der Mark had missed the top six by less than one tenth of a second, and Lowes was set for third
on the grid until an unfortunate off in the final sector of his lap.
A lightning start to the race and an aggressive opening lap from van der Mark saw him quickly on terms with the leading group as he settled into a fast and consistent rhythm. The 25-year-old Dutch rider managed to up his pace after passing Tom Sykes for fourth at half race distance, but didn't quite have the extra speed or the laps remaining to challenge for the final place on the podium.
After the disappointment of a difficult outing during his last wild card appearance at Donington, Canepa was satisfied with his performance in today's Misano race, which he finished in 12th place. It meant the Italian rider picked up his first championship points of the season and added to the development data available to Yamaha's engineers.
Today's 21-lap race ended in disappointment for Lowes. The 27-year-old British rider got pushed wide in turn one at the start and then lost the front and slid off seven laps in as he chased to make up places. Lowes remounted and re-joined the race in 17th position, but was forced to retire shortly after half race distance following a second low side crash.
All three Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team riders are confident of strong performances in tomorrow's second race, which van der Mark will start from pole position.