The Muc-Off sponsored Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team achieved a stunning double podium finish in Race 2 of the second round (Thailand), FIM Superbike World Championship. Michael van der Mark had a great start from fourth on the grid and was immediately involved in the battle for the win with his teammate Alex Lowes, leading the race for six laps and eventually crossing the finish line in a superb second place to secure his first podium of the season. Lowes was also involved in the excellent fight for the victory from the middle of the front row. Once again enjoying an exciting duel with teammate, Michael van der Mark, in the early stages, before improving strongly at the end to secure third place and ensure a positive end to the Thai event for the Pata Yamaha outfit
Michael Van der Mark, slightly disappointed with his pace in race 1 resorted back to his free practise setup from Friday and, along with a different specification front tyre, paid off. When the lights went out for Sunday's race, van der Mark enjoyed a superb start from the head of the second row and became embroiled in an excellent battle with his teammate for the race lead. He went on to cross the line in second, 2.185s behind race winner Davies, to secure his third Yamaha podium and equal his best result for the Pata Yamaha team. In the process, he collected 20 championship points and is now sixth in the overall standings with 45 points.
Alex Lowes and his mechanics worked overnight and during Warm-Up to find a solution to there race 1 issues, so when the lights went out for Race 2 on Sunday, the 27-year-old British rider was able to battle with the front-runners. He battled hard with his teammate during the opening three laps, but he could not quite match van der Mark's early pace. As the race progressed he found a better rhythm and managing to keep the rest of the field at bay, on lap 15 he started to close down the gap to his teammate ahead of him but ran out of laps. Crossing the line in a brilliant third place, just 1.699s behind van der Mark to record his maiden podium for the season and seventh in total for the team. The 16 points he collected for his efforts mean he is now fifth overall in the championship standings with 48 points, just 21 points behind the leader and three ahead of his teammate.
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK team principal, Paul Denning summarised;
We hoped that starting from the first and second rows would help today and that combined with an excellent first few laps by both Michael and Alex certainly contributed to a fantastic double-podium result for the team! It looks like the championship is going to be less predictable and more interesting this year and what's positive from Yamaha's point of view is that we still feel there is more potential to unlock. It has been a very solid start to the season. The results today are a great reward for Yamaha's engineers and an extremely hard working and dedicated team. Congratulations to both Michael and Alex on their performances and we are looking forward to starting the European leg of the season in Aragon in a few weeks' time.
It was the second double-podium for the Pata Yamaha Team since their return to the WorldSBK Championship in 2016 - to add to the one they secured in Magny-Cours (2017). The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team will now head to Aragon for Round 3 of the Superbike World Championship on the 13th-15th of April full of confidence and hungry for more podiums as they return to Europe!