Pata Honda Motorcycles: Van der Mark second on Portimao grid

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Pata Honda rider Michael van der Mark put his Honda CBR600RR in second place on the grid for tomorrow’s eighth round World Supersport race in Portugal in today’s qualifying session at the Autodromo Internacional Algarve.

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The Dutch flyer’s time was just 0.078s behind that of pole position man, Kenan Sofuoglu, but van der Mark, 21, set an impressive race pace during the third free practice session this morning and is confident for tomorrow’s 18-lap race at the 4.592km circuit.

His Pata Honda team-mate Lorenzo Zanetti, 26, was also in determined mood this afternoon, setting the sixth-fastest time in a sunny but breezy qualifying session for a second-row start.

The Italian makes no secret of the fact that the Portimao circuit is his least-favourite on the World Supersport calendar but he is focused on another podium challenge tomorrow before the series heads into an extended summer break.

Michael van der Mark - P2

I’m really happy with today because this morning we did a race simulation with a few changes to the set-up which worked very well. The pace was really fast which I was happy with but this afternoon’s qualifying was a bit of a messy session. The strong wind came in and we tried some other things which didn’t really work. But we are in P2 and really close to Kenan [Sofuoglu] who is in pole position and Jules [Cluzel] is also on the front row. It should be a good fight, but I think my race pace is OK and I’m really looking forward to tomorrow.

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Lorenzo Zanetti  - P6

I think that a second row start for the race at my worst track is not too bad! I wasn’t really able to put in a fast lap time for qualifying but my race pace is good and consistent and I was able to get into a rhythm today. That makes me feel positive for the race and I think we can fight for the podium. I am losing a little through rear grip – a bit on entry and a bit on exit – but this is something we can work on. My feeling with the bike is much better than at Misano, so I am looking forward to tomorrow’s race.

Pieter Breddels - technical co-ordinator

Michael did a very good run this morning when he was putting in really quick times. The grip went down a little bit in qualifying and it was harder to do the times. We tried a few changes which didn’t really work but he is second on the grid and has a really good race rhythm. Lorenzo didn’t have a bad day either and managed to put it on the second row. Hopefully he can fight for the one of the podium spots, too.

Qualifying Results
1  Kenan Sofuoglu1m45.924sTURKAWASAKIMAHI Racing Team India
2  Michael van der Mark1m46.002sNEDHONDAPata Honda World Supersport Team
3  Jules Cluzel1m46.089sFRAMVMV Agusta RC-Yakhnich Motorsport
4  Jack Kennedy1m46.310sIRLHONDACIA Insurance Honda
5  Raffaele De Rosa1m46.591sITAHONDACore PTR Honda
6  Lorenzo Zanetti1m46.632sITAHONDAPata Honda World Supersport Team
7  Kev Coghlan1m46.644sGBRYAMAHADMC Panavto-Yamaha
8  Patrick Jacobson1m46.673sUSAKAWASAKIKawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres
9  Florian Marino1m46.726sFRAKAWASAKIKawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres
10  Massimo Roccoli1m46.795sITAMVMV Agusta Reparto Corse

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