“Been a while since I was in these positions and this form!” – van der Mark rejuvenated in 2024

Michael van der Mark (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) went in search of a return to the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship podium on home soil at the TT Circuit Assen, although he fell just short. The best classification for the #60 was seventh, but he was close to the podium and victory across the Pirelli Dutch Round, and he spoke after Sunday’s action about how he feels to be back at the front of the field.

Although he didn’t win, with teammate Toprak Razgatlioglu claiming victory in Sunday’s Race 2 as BMW’s highlight for their first win at Assen, with van der Mark crossing the line in sixth and just five seconds behind the 2021 Champion. However, he was given a three-second penalty for cutting the final chicane and not losing one second. That came after he was seventh in Race 1 and eighth in the Tissot Superpole Race, where he finished ahead of Razgatlioglu.

Looking back on his home round, van der Mark said: “It was nice to fight again for the podium and stay with the top guys. It’s been a while. In Barcelona, I was pretty close but today I had a chance to fight with them. I would’ve liked to have been on the podium at Assen; I tried, for sure! I came pretty close, but I think we have to stay realistic. It’s been a while since I’ve been in these positions and this form. I struggled a bit at the end of the race because I went back into my old habits a little bit, pushing too hard in the wrong places, which is why I lost the top group, but I should be happy that we’re making steps.”

Van der Mark fell just short of his podium target, but he did get to see teammate Razgatlioglu take a hard-fought victory in Race 2, which was impacted by light rain falling and dampening the track a little bit but not enough for intermediate tyres. The Gouda-born star spoke about the Turk’s victory after the race in typical van der Mark style, with a bit of humour mixed in his answer.

“The atmosphere is fantastic, I saw in the race how strong he was, and I made a little cheeky pass on him as well to wake him up a bit,” joked van der Mark. “It was nice to fight with him. It was fantastic to see him taking this win and I hope, soon, we will have two BMWs on the podium. You can always learn from Toprak, and we will even afterwards.”

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Source: WorldSBK.com

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