The WorldSBK circus beamed into europe for the start of the european leg of the WSBK season. The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team arrived at the Motorland Aragon track in fine fettle following there double podium in the previous round (Thailand).
Race 1, a race of 2 halves. Michael van der Mark backed up his pace in mixed conditions from free practise and qualified himself in ninth. He didn't enjoy the best of starts but was on a charge when the red flag came out on lap 4. In the restarted, now shortened race, his excellent consistency despite not having the ideal setup on his R1 came across the line in a solid fifth place.
Teammate Alex Lowes qualified strongly, fifth on the grid and enjoyed ballistic starts in both the 1st and restart race1. Taking the lead in the restarted race and battling at the front before experiencing problems which saw him drop back down the field. Alex Lowes recovered superbly to fight back and finish in a battling seventh place.
The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team put in maximum effort in Race 2. Alex Lowes started from fourth on the grid and was involved in the podium battle but found himself suffering from a lack of grip on corner exit.
Despite this, he rode to his full potential and enjoyed a superb battle once more with his teammate Michael van der Mark in the latter stages of the race, emerging the victor of the duel to cross the line in fourth place.
Michael Van der Mark had a blistering start from the middle of the front row and led across the line after the first lap. He, unfortunately, also had a slight issue onboard with his R1 and battled as hard as he could despite not having a great feeling with the front end, enjoying an excellent fight with his teammate in the last few laps before finishing the race in fifth place.
As has been the theme for most of the 2018 season so far, there was almost nothing to separate the Pata Yamaha riders all weekend, with them matching each other's time exactly in Friday's free practice.
Then there was only 0.01s between them in Saturday's qualifying before they crossed the line in Race 1 within 1.053s of each other after 17 laps of racing!
The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team head to Round 4 of the 2018 WorldSBK Championship at the TT Circuit Assen on the 20th-22nd of April confident they will be back fighting for the podium at Michael van der Marks home race!