Michael van der Mark says he’s eager to shake off the disappointment of missing out on the podium at Aragon last time out by targeting the top three at his home event at Assen with Pata Yamaha.
The Dutch rider has an impressive World Superbike record at Assen with three podium finishes from four races in his first two season in the series, having also clinched victory at his home event in 2014 on his way to the World Supersport title, while he narrowly missed out on the rostrum 12 months ago with a fourth place finish in race two.
Despite Pata Yamaha’s early gains in 2018 which saw van der Mark claim a best result of second place in race two in Thailand, van der Mark was left frustrated having to settle for a pair of fifth places at Aragon which were compounded by the gap to the front-runners with over 10 seconds splitting the Dutch rider from race two winner Davies.
Focusing on his home round, van der Mark is eager to return to the podium hunt as the factory Yamaha squad looks to close the deficit on its Kawasaki and Ducati rivals.
“I really can’t wait for my home round because it is always a special race for me, getting to ride in front of the Dutch fans, and it looks like the weather will be great too,” van der Mark said. “I have a good history at the TT Circuit Assen and really enjoy riding here, so I hope to reward the fans and team with a good performance.
“The base feeling I have with my Yamaha R1 is good so hopefully, we can make another step in Assen and build on the pace we have shown so far this season to fight for the podium.”
World Superbike officials are yet to officially confirm any changes to the maximum rev limits for each manufacturer ahead of the Assen round with the 2018 rules shake-up dictating rev limits could be adjusted to ensure bike parity.
Any rev limit changes are dependent on results from the opening three rounds with more successful manufacturers potentially suffering a drop in revs while bikes that have struggled at the start of 2018 could gain a revs limit increase.
Pata Yamaha has secured two podiums so far this season, both coming in race two in Thailand, with the result of the rostrum results being taken between Kawasaki riders Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea, Ducati riders Marco Melandri, Chaz Davies and Barni Ducati’s Xavi Fores.