Quick Yamaha takes fight to Ducati, Kawasaki in Jerez

Yamaha is primed to take the fight to Ducati and Kawasaki this weekend based on its rapid turn of WorldSBK form in Friday free practice in Jerez
Quick Yamaha takes fight to Ducati, Kawasaki in Jerez

Yamaha enjoyed an eye-catching opening day of track action for round six of the World Superbike Championship at Jerez as four of its five riders packed into the top seven positions by the end of FP2.

The factory Pata Yamaha team proved especially rapid out of the box in warm morning temperatures with both van der Mark and Alex Lowes climbing to the summit of the timesheets with a 1-2 result.

Though they’d slip slightly to second and fourth respectively on the combined leaderboard in the hotter afternoon session, van der Mark was still in fine form after producing two more quick times that would have assured him his position in FP2 as well.

“It’s been a really positive opening day and I felt good with the bike from the start,” The dutchman said. “The changes we tested in Misano really seem to have worked and that inspired a lot of confidence in the R1.

“We knew this afternoon would be interesting once the track temperature went up, so we wanted to see how the bike reacted to that.

“Again, I was quick from the start, but we still need to do a bit more work to improve on the brakes, as I’m still struggling a little to get the bike stopped. But, overall, I’m really happy with the first day here in Jerez.”

With Marco Melandri and Sandro Cortese bringing their GRT Yamaha’s up to sixth and seventh themselves, despite the Italian suffering an off in FP2, the manufacturer appears better prepared this weekend to tackle Ducati and Kawasaki.

“I’m feeling much better on the bike with a different riding position and that also gave me a better feeling with the tyres.

“Now we have to work in a slightly different way for the set-up but I’m happy, because for the first time I’m not so far from the front and it looks like we are going in a good way. I think our weekend here in Jerez can be different to the last few races.”