WSB: Lowes and Van der Mark stick with PATA Yamaha for 2019
Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark will stay with the PATA Yamaha World Superbike team into the 2019 season.
The move comes after significant improvements from the Yamaha squad in 2018 have seen both the Brit and Dutchman stand on the top step with the Japanese marque’s first World Superbike wins since 2011.
No Yamaha rider has lifted a WSB crown since Ben Spies did the honours in 2009, but both riders believe challenging for the title next year is not beyond the realms of possibility should they continue taking steps forward.
“I am really happy to continue as a part of Yamaha's World Superbike project, having been involved since they returned to the series in 2016,” says Lowes, who won the British Superbike Championship in 2013.
“We've been through a lot together; some ups, some downs, but we're definitely on an upward trajectory now. It was great to get my first race win this season but, of course, this success just means we expect more every weekend. I believe so much in this project, my ambition has always been to see it through to a World Championship title and I don't think that's unrealistic given the progress we've made.
“I have never enjoyed racing as much as I do with this team and I will continue to give it my all to get to where Yamaha needs to be. Massive thanks to Eric de Seynes, Andrea Dosoli and Paolo Pavesio at Yamaha and to Paul Denning from the team for believing in me.”
Van der Mark, who became the first Dutch winner in World Superbike history at Donington Park earlier this year and currently sits third in the championship standings, added: “I am really happy to have signed for a third season with Yamaha,”
“I trust in this project, Yamaha believes in me as a rider and this makes for a strong combination. While we're still working to improve, it is clear that we have made significant progress, to the point where we're now winning races and fighting at the front every weekend.
“I am looking forward to continuing this trend and making the next step forward as we work towards our main goal of fighting for the World Championship title together.”