van der Mark ‘feeling good’ on Yamaha, targeting Jerez podium

Jerez may be a familiar venue for the WorldSBK riders but, as Michael van der Mark explains, a new surface - not to mention higher than normal temperatures - will be a factor

Michael van der Mark has high hopes PATA Yamaha WorldSBK has made a step forward with its R1 following last week’s in-season test, with the podium his clear target for this weekend’s latest round at Jerez.

The Dutchman enjoys a favourable record in Spain, scoring a podium on his maiden WorldSBK visit there in 2015, while the circuit is a popular attraction for the teams during the winter for testing.

Nevertheless, this year’s event – which marks a return to the venue after it was omitted from the 2018 calendar – is set to represent an entirely new challenge for the teams and riders by virtue of its mid-summer scheduling.

With air temperatures alone set to peak well into the 30-degrees bracket, coupled to a brand-new surface, van der Mark is hoping the gains made by the team will transfer from Misano despite the cool weather in Italy.

“Fortunately, we got a window of good weather on the second day of the Misano test and we managed to work our way through a lot of the test program, with the boys working hard to test as much as we could. Going back to Jerez is always nice, as we do a lot of testing there in the winter.

“This year there is a new surface again, so it will be interesting to see how the bike will feel compared to the tests.

“I feel really good with the bike at the moment and the base set-up has worked well at the last few tracks, so I think we can be really strong this weekend in Jerez. The podium is the target; we were close in Imola, but not quite close enough."

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