Hard-fought podium for Van der Mark


Van der Mark third in first race

The Dutchman didn't have the best start from second place on the grid and the first laps were difficult for him also. Fortunately, Van der Mark quickly found his fast race rhythm and was able to catch up first Nicola Jr. Morrentino and later Luca Vitali. Especially the fight with Vitali was hard and was only decided in the last corner. Van der Mark kept the inside line while the Italian Yamaha rider took too much risk and crashed. Riccardo Russo (Yamaha) won the race, a few seconds in front of Nacho Calero Perez (Yamaha).

Bastien Chesaux finished a solid sixth place in his first race for the Ten Kate Junior Team and his very first Superstock 600 European Championship race ever. The Swiss rider, starting from tenth place, was seventh after the first lap and fifth halfway through the race. Only Frenchman Stéphane Egea (Yamaha) could overtake him in the second half. With this result, Chesaux shows that much more will be possible in the next races at Assen, Monza and Misano.

Fabio Massei, supported with banners from his fans, couldn’t improve his grid position in the second FIM Cup Superstock 1000 qualification and will start the race from eighth place on the second row. But more importantly, the lap times of Massei are very consistent and that is the key to success for Sunday’s race. The team is full of confidence and looking forward to tomorrow.

Michael van der Mark (STK600 race – 3rd + 5.832 seconds): “I had to fight so hard in this race. My start and the first two laps were bad so that cost me a lot of time. The sprint to the last corner in the last lap was very exciting because Luca Vitali was right behind me. I'm very happy with the podium finish while that is very important in the first race of a long season. I want to thanks my team because they gave me a very good bike. Now I'm going to focus on Assen, the next race.”

Bastien Chesaux (STK600 race – 6th + 11.219 seconds): “I’m satisfied after my first Superstock 600 European Championship race for the EAB Ten Kate Junior Team. Of course you want to do always better but it is still early day and I’m getting faster and faster nearly each lap and that makes me very happy. The Honda CBR600RR was very good this weekend and the team did a great job. Thanks to all and let’s bring on Assen! It feels to me a bit like a home race so that is very special.”

Fabio Massei (STK1000 qualification – 8th + 2.056 seconds): “My race pace is very good and that's for tomorrow's race very important. On the other hand, my fastest lap in the qualifying sessions has to be much better; it now takes too much time to get up to speed. But because of the good pace, I am looking forward to tomorrow's race. Hopefully I can achieve a good result for my home crowd.”