Italy was the stage for round 9 of the World Superbike championship. The PATA Yamaha WSBK team returning fresh from, yet more, podium success at Laguna Seca (Round 8). This round, as at Donington Park, Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark are joined by Niccolò Canepa aboard a 3rd PATA Yamaha R1 on the grid that saw some fantastic action over the race weekend.
Race 1 saw the Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team machine of Michael van der Mark take a fantastic fourth place in the Misano sun, having started the first race from 11th position on the grid. Wildcard rider Niccolò Canepa secured his first championship points of the season with a solid 12th place finish, while Alex Lowes was disappointed to record his first DNF of 2018 after a crash ruled him out of the race with 10 laps remaining.
Race 2 saw the Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team rider Michael van der Mark start from pole position and signed off from the first half of the season with a superb second-place finish in Race 2 in Misano following a race long battle with championship leader, Jonathan Rea who finished just 0.334 seconds ahead of the flying Dutchman. Alex bounced back from the disappointment of his Race 1 DNF to claim more valuable championship points with sixth place in Sunday’s race 2. Wildcard rider Niccolò Canepa also added to his points tally from the weekend with a strong ride to 13th place in the 21-lap race.
Speaking about the Misano Race weekend, Paul Denning: Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK - Team Principal commented: "What a race! A fantastic performance by Michael from the front row of the grid and equally by his team to take a good step forward with the setting of his R1 in the heat of Misano. Michael didn't put a wheel wrong for 21 laps and at one stage was able to pull a gap on the chasing pack before fighting valiantly under pressure from Johnny Rea."
He continued, "Despite showing superb pace and consistency on Friday, Saturday didn't work out for Alex and today was always going to be about maximising the potential from the fourth row after a difficult Race 1. He made a superb start then made some great passes in the early laps to force his way into contention for the top six, but today wasn't quite Alex's day in terms of having the feeling he needed to force further forward and challenge for the podium. When you're in that position you need to stay focused and get the best result you possibly can. After winning in Brno and being on the podium in Laguna, today showed great maturity to accept the limits and bring the bike home in a very strong points scoring position and only a few seconds off the winner.”