Michael van der Mark rode to an incredible eighth place in Sunday’s second World Superbike race at the Lausitzring despite his bike sustaining serious damage in a crash.
The Dutchman was sat in seventh place when he crashed out at turn nine with just three laps to go. Digging into the gravel, van der Mark’s Fireblade rolled and landed on the fuel tank.
Remarkably, the former WSS champion was able to remount his damaged machine and cross the line to take vital points in eighth place.
“I got a good start to the race but the track was very slippery and I couldn’t lean as much as I wanted,” he said. “After a couple of laps, I saw Giugliano crashing out of the race and immediately thought of the championship situation as the priority was to stay upright.
“Then, with three laps to go I simply locked the front and crashed. I really wanted to finish the race so I picked up the bike and rode two laps with barely any front brake. These are very important points for me, so all in all I’m not too disappointed."
However, while van der Mark’s performance was nothing short of remarkable, the fact he was allowed to continue the race on a severely damaged machine raises a number of questions surrounding safety. Not only did he admit to having next to no front brakes, but in the wet conditions it could have been difficult to spot any fluids leaking from the machine.
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