Portimao WorldSBK test: Van der Mark impressed with ‘faster’ R1

| | WorldSBK
Picture: GeeBee Images

Michael van der Mark, with a new spec Yamaha to ride in 2020, worked though a lot of options at the Portimao WorldSBK test, making up for wet weather at other tests.

And he was happy to be so close to the top given that it was mostly testing rather than finding a full race set-up for the Portugese track.

“This has been a really good test for all the Yamahas. We had again a lot to test with suspension components and stuff like that,” he told bikesportnews.com.

“This morning the pace was immediately quite good. We’ve tried so many things to see what’s better or worse and at the end we had to find the right combination. Everything, the pace, is still improving and I think my fastest lap was set on the race tyre. We cannot really complain to be honest.”

With a new bike, an update of his 2019 one, VDM was asked what he major differences and improvements were.

The 2020 bike is easier to ride and we have more drive grip. For sure we still want more. I believe the bike is also faster and that makes life a bit easier.”

The work done at Portimao should allow VDM to concentrate more on his actual season-starting race set-up now.

“For Australia we’re pretty sure of what we want and we tried some things here, to stress the tyre less, which could be really positive for Australia,” he said.

““On this track it didn’t really work everywhere but it seems it will work for Australia. We have already done a bit of testing here, but over there will be some small things to try.”

Michael also has a new crew chief, Andrew Pitt, and that was another new thing to get used to this winter. So far so good, he said.

Everyone has their own way of working and I’m enjoying it with Andrew. It already feels like we’ve been working together for a long time. That is really good.”