Welcome to the beta version of the new Women & Golf website. Our web monkeys are still hard at work and welcome your feedback.  


Portimao WorldSBK: Van der Mark big tyre gamble pays off

In a race where Jonathan Rea had to give a lot of himself and all his bike and tyre performance to make sure he took his 66th career win, a rider new to winning at this level this year, Michael van der Mark, came closest to capitalising on Rea’s early-lap hold-ups.

After scoring a fortuitous podium on raceday one, Sunday’s was R1 Yamaha ride was much more controlled and confident.  

“We changed a little bit on the bike,” said van der Mark. “I changed to the big front tyre, and I think it was better. You know, it is quite even (between the tyres sizes), but this morning again I tried it and we thought maybe with the hotter conditions, it was better.


"We changed a little bit on the suspension but not a lot. We were quite fast yesterday and you do not want to change too much on the bike. I am happy we made some changes and at least I felt more comfortable on the bike compared to yesterday. This was the biggest improvement for myself. Especially on the entry of the corners. Every lap I was closing t front somewhere on Saturday, but now felt it coming, because I had more feeling from the front.”

One aspect of VDM’s second place that did have a slight air of good fortune was how he passed the Ducati pairing of Davies and Melandri.

“They were battling and to be honest, I was not quicker. I was behind Marco and Chaz and I was not quicker than them. We were doing the same lap time but as they battled I got closer and closer. It was ten laps to go or something so I did not want to attack then. I was pretty sure that they were overtaking so much, someone would run wide at turn one.”

He saw his moment and got two for the brake pressure of one. “So I was just doing my normal braking,” explained VDM. “ At the point where I saw them both run wide I released my brake and carried a lot more speed. For sure I wanted to overtake one, so to overtake both at once - it was a nice present.”

On his better Sunday bike set-up VDM even fancied a go at Rea, who was having to ride hard to keep the tall Dutchman behind him. “Yes, a few times,” he said about trying to make a move on Rea. “In some areas he was quicker and I was quicker in other areas, but at the end we all know it is Johnny and how strong his package is, and himself. I knew that if he did not make any mistakes, that was it. But of course I tried to push as much as possible and also he did, because I saw him pushing a lot.”

Van der Mark made up points on Chaz Davies in each race, and is now only 20 points behind the factory Ducati rider in the fight for second place overall.

Articles you may like


More WorldSBK

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram