Monster Yamaha’s Michael van der Mark took his first MotoGP tumble during qualifying one at Sepang today but ended Saturday a little over two seconds off the pace and will focus on finding corner exit grip in warm-up tomorrow.
It has been a baptism of fire for the Pata Yamaha WorldSBK regular with both wet and dry sessions in Malaysia so far but the Dutchman is now looking for more pace in readiness for the race tomorrow.
"I am a bit disappointed with the qualifying result. This morning in FP3, we made quite a solid step but, position wise, it wasn't where I wanted to be, yet we have still made progress. In the afternoon, I had an issue with the rear grip and then, on the first lap, I struggled with the new tyre. On the second outing I felt better, but at turn five, I lost the front without warning,” said van der Mark.
“This is difficult to accept and I am sorry to the team as we were making steady progress in every session, but a crash is not what you want. The fall was due to a number of things and the track temperature was high, plus I don't have much experience of this. Everyone was fast and this morning, you can see that I was only two seconds from the top, which was good and promising.
“I was hoping to make another step to the group in front of me because there are only a few tenths away. Now, we need to work because the rear of the bike is spinning too much at the exit of the corners and that's the main factor to focus on. Anyway, tomorrow is race day, and I will gain a lot of experience but I hope I can fight with some riders and enjoy my time."