Michael van der Mark suffered a tough weekend at the fifth round of the 2016 Superbike World Championship at Imola.
The 23-year-old struggled to change direction on his CBR1000RR Fireblade at the Italian circuit, leaving him unable to break into the top six in either race.
Disappointed with seventh place in race one, van der Mark had hoped a change in tyre choice would help him move further forward on Sunday but it wasn’t meant to be. Unable to find a rhythm, the Dutchman crossed the line ninth.
“It’s been a really difficult weekend,” he said after the race. “It looked like we found the right direction yesterday in Superpole but we thought that with a different tyre on Sunday we could have solved the issues encountered in the first race.
“Unfortunately in race two I found it really hard to change direction and this meant I couldn’t be quick. Now we have to look forward to Sepang, which is a completely different track. I’m pretty confident that the team and I will be able to bounce back and score some great results there.”
Van der Mark now sits fourth in the championship standings, some 115 points back on series leader Jonathan Rea.