World Superbike racer Michael van der Mark will get his second ride on the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine this weekend at the final round of the 2017 MotoGP season, as he continues to deputise for the ill Jonas Folger with the French team at Valencia.
Impressing on his first ride for the squad two weeks ago and embarking on his fourth race in four weeks after adding the MotoGP ride to his regular duties with the Crescent Yamaha squad, the Dutchman says he’s nonetheless well up for the challenge this weekend.
"It’s a shame that Jonas cannot ride in Valencia, but I am really honoured that Herve asked me again because I think it showed that I did quite a good job in Sepang. I have not ridden in Valencia for a long time, but hopefully, it will be a little bit easier than the race in Malaysia, now that I know the bike, the tyres and the brakes more.
“The most important thing is that I hope we have a normal dry weekend, where I can ride a lot of laps and improve myself together with the bike. I just want to make steps forward and close the gap to the front guys plus, just enjoy the occasion because it's an amazing opportunity.”
And, after a strong weekend for van der Mark in Qatar last weekend at the final round of WSB, team boss Herve Poncharal says he’s keen to welcome him back.
“We were quite happy to see that he finished fourth in the second World Superbike race in Qatar and close to the leading group. This is hopefully a sign that he is in good form and I’m sure that this time he will feel more at home on the YZR- M1 and with the Tech3 team, having worked with us in Malaysia. He can go out, have fun and show his true potential.
“There are a lot of things that will happen during this weekend, and the championship is still to be decided between Marc Marquez and Andrea Dovizioso. Everyone has a good reason to push and finish the year on a high note. I will say to everyone following MotoGP and our team, come and support us at this last race, which will be the definite end to a great and memorable MotoGP season.”
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