New champion van der Mark back to racing action
One month after securing the 2014 World Supersport championship, Pata Honda’s Michael van der Mark is heading to Magny-Cours in France, together with team-mate Lorenzo Zanetti, for the penultimate round of the season.
Van der Mark celebrated the title in style by winning the last round at Jerez in Spain to stand on top of the podium for the fifth time this season. This weekend he returns to the circuit where he won the FIM European Superstock 600 championship two years ago with another race victory on Honda’s CBR600RR.
Since his impressive race and championship win in Jerez, it has been announced that the 21-year-old Dutch flyer will ride for the Pata Honda team in the World Superbike championship for the next two years, but in the short term, van der Mark has nothing but another World Supersport race win in his sights for Magny-Cours.
Lorenzo Zanetti, is also hoping to add to his single race victory this season, taken at his home race in Imola in Italy in May. The 27-year-old currently sits in fourth place in the World Supersport championship standings and, although the title has gone to his Pata Honda team-mate, the runner-up spot is still a possibility.
Michael van der Mark
The championship is over now but I am a racer and I still want to win. I really like Magny-Cours and I think we have proven at every circuit we have a good base setting, so I cannot wait to go out on track. Magny-Cours was already special for me because I won my first title, in European Superstock, at this track two years ago. Now I have taken the next step and will arrive there as the Supersport champion. I have signed for two years with Pata Honda to race in World Superbike so I think that with everything fixed this could be one of the most relaxed weekends we have had this year. We only have the race itself to think about at this round and I will try to win it.
The last race in Europe and the track is OK for me; I like it. The weather in France at this time of year can be a factor but in any case I want to push. I was strong all weekend in the previous round but at the end of the race I lost some pace because I used a lot of my rear tyre on the first few laps trying to win. I was disappointed about this because I have the potential to fight for a podium every race, but I am only looking to Magny-Cours now. I want to have a good weekend like I did in Jerez but try to finish on the podium this time. In the championship I could finish in overall second place but also seventh, so I need to have a great result if I want to finish inside the top three.
Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator
There’s no pressure for Michael this weekend – the championship is his and he has signed a two-year contract to race with us in World Superbike from next year. But the plan is still simple and we hope to be fighting for another race win for him. We will also be looking to help Lorenzo to get back to the podium. The potential is always there and was as strong as ever at Jerez in the last race. All his finishes have been top six this season and he has been close to the podium many times. We’ll be targeting it again this weekend in Magny-Cours.
|1||Michael van der Mark||185 pts||NED||HONDA||Pata Honda World Supersport Team|
|2||Florian Marino||109 pts||FRA||KAWASAKI||Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres|
|3||Jules Cluzel||107 pts||FRA||MV||MV Agusta RC|
|4||Lorenzo Zanetti||90 pts||ITA||HONDA||Pata Honda World Supersport Team|
|5||Kenan Sofuoglu||88 pts||TUR||KAWASAKI||MAHI Racing Team India|
|6||Patrick Jacobson||87 pts||USA||KAWASAKI||Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres|
|7||Kenan Sofuoglu||86 pts||TUR||KAWASAKI||MAHI Racing Team India|
|8||Roberto Rolfo||71 pts||ITA||KAWASAKI||Team GO Eleven|
|9||Raffaele De Rosa||67 pts||ITA||HONDA||Core PTR Honda|
|10||Jack Kennedy||56 pts||IRL||HONDA||CIA Insurance Honda|