WorldSBK: Michael van der Mark claims maiden win of 2020 campaign in Catalan Superpole race.
Michael van der Mark of the Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team has claimed his maiden win of the 2020 WorldSBK campaign in the 10-lap Superpole sprint race.
Van der Mark capitalised on the shortened 10-lap race, getting the most out of his YZF-R1, to win his first race of the season. Traditionally, the newest addition to the weekend’s racing schedule has been Jonathan Rea’s forte, winning five out of six races so far this year, before being defeated by Scott Redding in Teruel and now, van der Mark in Catalunya.
The Yamaha rider was able to combat Rea’s main strength, the beginning of the race. The first two laps, the Dutchman was able to hold pace with the Northern Irishman and from there, the Dutchman was able to pass Rea and increase the gap above two seconds to take the chequered flag.
American, Garrett Gerloff once again surprised, battling Welshman Chaz Davies all the way for fourth, but the Panigale rider beat Gerloff to the line, once again though, Gerloff showed class above his R1 and will be looking for a maiden podium, beginning Race three from fifth spot.
Honda woes continued, as Leon Haslam collided with Ex-WorldSSP championship runner-up Federico Caricasulo, the Brit was taken to the medical centre but fortunately, the BSB champion only came away with a bruised leg. Alvaro Bautista suffered a monumental highside at turn four after a three-way battle for the lead ended in disaster, with van der Mark and Jonathan Rea, with the Kawasaki rider having to sit up his ZX10-RR for the second time of the weekend after avoiding Max Scheib in FP2. Rea surrendered the lead to Van Der Mark and was not able to recover it from the Dutchman.
Race Winner’s Teammate, Toprak Razgatlioglu was not able to partake in Sunday’s action after sustaining a chest injury in Sunday’s morning warm-up, and was declared unfit.
Scott Redding had a dismal race, finishing eighth and admitting his 2020 title hopes are “all but gone” after he lost further points in the championship battle with Jonathan Rea. Redding suffered rear-tyre woes once again as he did in the double races at Aragon, expressing that long corners were giving his tyre’s a hard time.
Image credit: Yamaha-Racing