Reigning WSS Champion Michael van der Mark moves up to the WSB class in 2014 for his Pata Honda/ten Kate operated team, and he was out early at Jerez to try out his new bike.
No stranger to a Superbike as he is already a Suzuka 8-Hour winner, van der Mark was riding his ‘own’ bike for the first time at this test.
“Yesterday I had to get used to the new bike so they let me ride without any electronics to get used to the power,” said the young Dutchman. “They gave me all the power and it was quite aggressive and impressive. That is why I rode so many laps, but conditions were not really good. Still the track was wet at some points. At the end it was OK and we put on a new set of tyres but then it started to rain again. I want to wait until I have a lot of dry laps in before I go out in the wet.”
Even in bright sunshine on the second day it took a long time for the Jerez circuit to dry out, as van der Mark explained. “The track on Tuesday was still wet because I think there is just too much water soaking into the ground also it will not dry much. There is no wind and almost no riders early in the day riders going out so that is why it does not dry.”
Van der Mark is in a new class but is trying to take the same approach as always. “This year feels like a new challenge. Like every year you want to work as best you can every weekend and every day so it is not really different but I am just really excited about this year.”