Championship leader Michael van der Mark and his Pata Honda team-mate Lorenzo Zanetti are looking forward to a weekend of good results as they head to round eight of the 2014 World Supersport Championship this weekend at the Autodromo Internacional Algarve in Portugal.
Championship leader van der Mark, 21, from the Netherlands, will be aiming to continue his remarkable run of podium results that has seen him finish no lower than second – including race wins in the Netherlands, the UK and Malaysia - since crashing out of the opening round in Australia in February.
Zanetti took his own debut victory at his home round in Italy in May but, despite consistent top-five results, the 26-year-old has not been able to secure any other podium finishes; something he is determined to address this weekend at the 4.592km circuit near Portimao.
Michael van der Mark
I really like the Portimao track and I’m ready to go! I’ve had some good results there in the past, with a couple of podiums in Superstock, and I just missed out in Supersport last year. We found a good setting in the winter test and me and the team are in a really good rhythm right now. It’s just a shame we have to go into such a long summer break after this weekend, but at least I get a chance to continue some racing with the Suzuka 8 Hour. When you’re in this kind of groove you just want to race every weekend. I really want to win again this weekend but we need to think about the championship, as well, so we’ll work hard on getting a good setting for Sunday and see how things go.
We have a lot of work to do for this weekend because my last two races have not been so good. I have finished the races with much less tyre than Mikey (van der Mark) so we need to analyse everything and try to understand if this is because of the setting with the bike, or my riding style, or maybe a combination. It’s important to find a solution so that I can fight for the podium again and get some good points for the championship. This weekend will be tough because Portimao is not my favourite circuit, so it means I will have to work even harder.
Pieter Breddels - technical co-ordinator
Michael rode really well at Portimao in his rookie season last year and just missed the podium. In his current form, we expect him to be in a position to fight for the win and to continue his really impressive first half of the season. He will need to use his head this weekend but we’ll work hard to give him what he needs to be in a strong position as we go into the summer break. Lorenzo was not at his strongest in the last race at Misano so we will all concentrate and focus on giving him a CBR setting that can take him back to the sharp end of the field.
1 Michael van der Mark 135 pts NED HONDA Pata Honda World Supersport Team2 Jules Cluzel 107 pts FRA MV MV Agusta RC-Yakhnich Motorsport3 Florian Marino 85 pts FRA KAWASAKI Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres4 Lorenzo Zanetti 70 pts ITA HONDA Pata Honda World Supersport Team5 Kev Coghlan 68 pts GBR YAMAHA DMC Panavto-Yamaha6 Kenan Sofuoglu 67 pts TUR KAWASAKI MAHI Racing Team India7 Patrick Jacobson 56 pts USA KAWASAKI Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres8 Roberto Rolfo 55 pts ITA KAWASAKI Team GO Eleven9 Raffaele De Rosa 54 pts ITA HONDA Core PTR Honda10 Roberto Tamburini 48 pts ITA KAWASAKI San Carlo Puccetti Racing