News 16 Jul 2019
Technical problem forces van der Mark into Laguna Seca retirement
Factory Yamaha rider holds onto fourth in WorldSBK championship standings.
Overcoming a wrist injury sustained just three weeks ago, it was a technical problem that ultimately marred Michael van der Mark’s weekend at Laguna Seca’s ninth round of the 2019 Motul FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK), prompting him to retire just four laps into race two.
Despite battling the injury, the Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK contender lodged a 7-10 scorecard in the opening encounter and Superpole race, allowing him to hold down fourth in the championship standings.
“We made some changes for the Superpole race that didn’t quite work as we were expecting, which meant I missed out on the top nine by just one place and had to start race two from the fifth row of the grid,” van der Mark explained. “I had a really good start, made some early passes and was up to ninth at the end of the first lap.
“I felt so much better with the bike, a lot more confident and I could see the group ahead weren’t pulling away from me like they did yesterday. Once I managed to get past Loris Baz, I was feeling pretty comfortable and confident of gaining more places, but then we had a technical problem with the bike and I had to retire.
“It’s a big shame, because I was feeling better on my R1 than I had all weekend and we lost quite a lot of points. Anyway, we have a fairly long break now, of course including the 8hr race which is always a big challenge, and I’m sure we’ll be back really strong in Portimão – I love the track and I want to be fighting again to win.”
The WorldSBK now heads into an extended European summer break, resuming on 6-8 September at Portimao in Portugal.