van der Mark upgrades expectations after painless return to action

Michael van der Mark show few ill-effects from his wrist surgery after setting the fifth best time in FP1 and feeling no untoward pain

Michael van der Mark says he is now targeting top ten results in this weekend’s World Superbike Championship round at Donington Park after making a successful return to action from injury.

The Dutchman was back on the Pata Yamaha for the first time since a violent high-side last time out at Misano left him with a wrist injury that required surgery.

However, despite only 10 days elapsing between surgery and Friday free practice, van der Mark was an impressive fifth quickest after FP1 before spending FP2 focusing on getting more mobility on the bike to improve his comfort levels.

“I think I was more nervous ahead of FP1 today than I am before a race. I was pretty confident the injury wouldn't be a problem, but you never really know until you're actually on the bike.

“I felt good on the bike from the start, with no pain, but I am missing a little bit of mobility, which means I can't move around the bike quite so well.

“Every lap I was feeling a bit better but I'm not as smooth as normal and that made it a little difficult to get the bike set-up. In the afternoon we tried to improve the bike, to make it a little smoother and easier to ride and, while I didn't manage to improve my lap time, this wasn't really the goal.

“I did a lot more laps than I was expecting today; this morning before FP1 I would have been happy to pick up some points in the races, but now I think we can target the top ten."

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