First Superpole win for Honda sensation Van Der Mark

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Former Stock 600 and WSS Champion Michael van der Mark (Honda World Superbike Team) enjoyed his first Superpole win in Thailand today, shortly before the start of the first race of the weekend.

Resisting the pressure of even the KRT duo of Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes, who ended up second and third respectively, van der Mark made the most of being fastest on Friday to make another important step in his career with his first Superpole victory.

Now in his second year of WSBK racing, van der Mark and his team-mate Nicky Hayden have rejuvenated the capabilities of the ageing Honda FireBlade. Hayden was only eighth in Superpole but has been quickest of all in the short third free practice session this morning.

Chaz Davies and his Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team-mate Davide Giugliano were fourth and sixth, with Davies out of sorts at this track that does not suit his Ducati’s relative lack of top end punch.

In fifth place, splitting the Ducatis, was the lead Pata Yamaha of Sylvain Guintoli. His team-mate Alex Lowes slotted in seventh, Hayden one place behind and the first BMW on the grid will start from ninth place, and be ridden by Markus Reiterberger (Althea BMW Racing Team). His team-mate Jordi Torres placed 10th, having also made it into Superpole 2 directly.

The final 12 who entered Superpole two included Superpole 1 qualifiers Karel Abraham (Milwaukee BMW) and stand-in for the injured Fabio Menghi, Matteo Baiocco (VFT Racing Ducati). They would finish up 11th and 12th on the grid, respectively.

Josh Brookes (Milwaukee BMW) was the only BMW rider to not make it into the 12 of Superpole 2 and he will start from 13th place on the grid for Saturday and Sunday’s races.

Leon Camier’s lone MV Agusta Reparto Corse four-cylinder WorldSBK was 14th after Superpole.

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Gordon Ritchie

By Gordon Ritchie