Factory Yamaha WorldSBK contender Michael van der Mark has identified improvements in aerodynamics as a key part in his challenge for the 2020 crown.
The Dutchman, who has a new team-mate in the shape of Toprak Razgatlioglu for this year, believes the new aero package will increase the bike’s top speed - which is vital against the ballistic Panigale V4R.
“One of the improvements is the aerodynamics; it works much better for tall riders like Toprak and me. It is a lot more protective and I think we can get a little bit better top speed. Also, I think the fairing design has brought some other benefits, so again it’s a positive feeling,” said van der Mark.
“Together with Öhlins and our performance engineers we’ve made a good step forward to find grip – as it’s always been our main issue. Already last year we made a step and it was really important, I felt like we have found a really good direction and exactly what we are looking for. I don’t know any numbers, but this new bike feels a bit faster as well – that’s always nice!
“I’m looking forward to the new season with the 2020 R1 – which is not a completely different bike – but there are a lot of new parts and improvements that will help us. We need to keep making progress, and with this new bike, that for sure will enable us to make another step.”