Saturday, February 21, 2015

Team Pata Honda's van der Mark 4th, Guintoli 9th in Phillip Island World Superbike Season Opening Superpole Qualifying

Van der Mark fourth in Superpole debut
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Phillip Island - Australia    22.02.2015
Van der Mark fourth in Superpole debut
Michael van der Mark will start tomorrow’s two opening 2015 World Superbike championship races from the second row of the grid after setting the fourth fastest time in this afternoon’s Superpole at Phillip Island in Australia.
The 22-year-old World Superbike rookie from the Netherlands, who topped the timing sheets after Free Practice 4, fired his Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP around the 4.445km circuit in a time of 1m31.613, 0.4s behind the pole position time of Jonathan Rea.
Like all the other riders in the second of this afternoon’s two Superpole sessions, van der Mark was unable to use his allocated Pirelli qualifying tyre after red flags brought the session to an early conclusion following a crash involving Spain’s David Salom.
Van der Mark’s Pata Honda team-mate Sylvain Guintoli continued his adaptation to the CBR machine after missing out on much of the pre-season winter testing. The reigning world champion switched to Honda after the conclusion to last season’s championship but a big crash three weeks ago at Jerez in Spain has limited his track time.
The 32-year-old French rider is adapting his riding style to suit the different characteristics of the CBR but is also confident that a change in settings for Superpole was a step forward. His Superpole time of 1m32.446s puts him in ninth place on the grid for tomorrow’s two 22-lap first round races.
Michael van der Mark
Michael van der Mark - P4, 1m31.613s
This morning was really good and we improved the lap time as well as making a really good run. I was also happy with FP4, not just because I was fastest, but because of the bike and the tyres. I was really looking forward to qualifying but I got to the first corner with the Q and the red flags came out. I really watned to finish the lap but fourth place for my debut is not too bad. Of course, you want it to come in a different way, but I think we are ready for tomorrow.
Sylvain Guintoli
Sylvain Guintoli - P9, 1m32.446s
The bike felt much better in the Superpole laps that I did on the race tyre and the lap time was coming really easily, even though I wasn’t pushing. I need to find the right balance between aggression and speed and it’s quite different from what I’m used to. I’m working on being more efficient on the CBR and because I didn’t really get proper track time before we came here I’ve been playing catch up a bit. Of course, I’m trying to go fast but I think maybe I’m trying a bit too much and need to chill out a bit and concentrate on enjoying myself. The more frustrated I get the slower I get and, as I said before, I need to get dialled in. We made a big change for Superpole that felt good and hopefully in the warm-up tomorrow we can keep chipping away at the race pace.                     
Pieter Breddels
Pieter Breddels - technical co-ordinator
Michael really improved throughout the weekend and he and his crew have already worked well on the race distance to get the bike dialled in. He seems to be fast in conditions where a lot of guys struggle. He has a really good pace and in the end this brought him fourth place on the grid in this blistering heat. That was on a race tyre of course and, for his first World Superbike race that’s a really good result. We’ve still been trying a lot of things with Sylvain, but we’ll keep working on that because we have a lot of data from a lot of years to help him get more comfortable with the bike.
  Qualifying Results
1  Jonathan Rea1m31.212GBRKAWASAKIKawasaki Racing Team
2  Chaz Racing-Ducati Superbike Team
3  Leon Haslam1m31.507GBRAPRILIAAprilia Racing Team - Red Devils
4  Michael van der Mark1m31.613NEDHONDAPata Honda World Superbike Team
5  Alex Lowes1m32.042GBRSUZUKIVoltcom Crescent Suzuki
6  Nicolas Terol1m32.081ESPDUCATIAlthea Racing
7  Jordi Torres1m32.243ESPAPRILIAAprilia Racing Team - Red Devils
8  Tom Sykes1m32.265GBRKAWASAKIKawasaki Racing Team
9  Sylvain Guintoli1m32.446FRAHONDAPata Honda World Superbike Team
10  Matteo Baiocco1m32.841ITADUCATIAlthea Racing
  Copyright-free images for editorial use only
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© 2015 Pata Honda.

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