After having to cut his previous Jerez test sessions in November short, to go back home to go and have surgery on a wrist problem, second-season WorldSBK rider for Honda Michael van der Mark made his return to action at good pace on day one at Jerez.
He used the much-awaited updated engine from the start and was immediately aware that there was more power available to him.
“We have 2016 engine, which feels better, and we have so much small stuff we have to try,” he said. “The engine has more power, especially in the top. We missed some power going through the gears and now it feels much better. It feels similar to last year’s, but just faster. I have the new Öhlins forks on the bike and they feel good. I would have to test them back-to-back but for now they feel normal and really good.”
Van der Mark reported no early problems with his wrist, which gave his team and him cause for concern in the past few weeks.
“The first thing for today it focusing on riding and then seeing how the wrist is,” he stated. “It was a tendon which was inflamed and irritated and that affected all the other things around it. They opened it and cleaned it out and I felt really strong, even the day after surgery. This is the first day back on the bike and I feel really good, there are no problems. It is just a bit stiff, but that’s it.”