News 31 Oct 2017

Van der Mark satisfied with 16th in Sepang MotoGP debut

WorldSBK regular falls just shy of points in Malaysia.

Source: Supplied.

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 stand-in rider Michael van der Mark says he’s really satisfied with his 16th place result at last weekend’s penultimate round of the 2017 MotoGP World Championship in Malaysia, marking his debut in the prestigious series.

Van der mark, a WorldSBK regular, filled in the for the ill Jonas Folger, where he qualified 22nd – crashing during the session – before putting in a respectable ride to finish up just outside of the points.

“I am really happy with today’s result,” van der Mark commented. “Even though it was typical Malaysia and just before the race commenced, it rained again! The team and I changed the bike considerably compared to Friday when it was wet and we went softer on the rear.

“I had quite a good start, and the first half of the GP went very positively as I followed the guys in front of me and I fought with a lot of riders. I’m pleased with my performance, even if I wasn’t completely happy with the bike, but it was only my second time on the YZR-M1 in the wet. In my eyes, to fight for the points and follow Maverick was really amazing.

“When it dried a little bit, I struggled slightly more than him, yet, I could run a similar pace. I think I lacked a bit of confidence with the turning of the bike, otherwise, I may have been able to stay with the big group in front of me. I hoped to catch them with Maverick, but I also wanted to finish the race, which I did. Overall, I enjoyed the weekend a lot and my first experience with the YZR-M1 was just amazing.”

It’s not yet determined if Folger will return for the final round in Valencia, however van der Mark stands as a strong chance of returning to the MotoGP circuit if the position is still available, as the WorldSBK Championship wraps up next weekend.