Third row starts in Thailand for Pata Honda duo

Pata Honda riders Michael van der Mark and Sylvain Guintoli will both start from the third row of the grid for tomorrow`s two second round World Superbike championship races at Buriram in Thailand.

Van der Mark set the seventh fastest time in Superpole with a lap of 1m34.514s while his Pata Honda team-mate will line up next to him on the grid after posting the eighth fastest lap, just five hundredths of a second slower, at 1m34.562s.

With temperatures slightly cooler for today`s proceedings, most of Free Practice 3 this morning was lost to rain, restricting track time for the riders on their CBR machines.

However, the warmer weather is expected to return for tomorrow`s two 20-lap races at the 4.554km Chang International circuit.
Michael van der Mark – P8, 1m34.514s

I`m quite happy today. We missed 45 minutes of practice this morning and I wasn`t able to improve the time so I went directly into Superpole 1. But FP4 was much better and I was able to improve the feeling with the CBR and also the lap time, which made me much happier. In Superpole 1 I started on the race tyre and then the qualifier but that didn`t bring much. We did the same in Superpole 2 and I was able to improve my time quite a bit. I`m happy with our position – I think the gap to the guys at the front is a little bit to far but I think our race pace is OK.
Sylvain Guintoli – P9, 1m34.562s

We`re still working hard and doing everything that we can trying to catch up. Obviously, we are missing a second and on a small track like this, that`s quite a lot. So we`re going to spend some time now going through everything on the data to try and understand how we can improve our pace and the race rhythm for tomorrow.

Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator
We hoped for dry weather but unfortunately this morning it was wet and we lost some valuable track time. Michael went through to Superpole 1 and that gave him a little more track time. He improved a lot in the last free practice too and his race pace is not looking so bad. He qualified eighth and the gap to the front looks quite big but I know his race pace is better than that. We worked through a lot of things with Sylvain and he was feeling OK but he ended a fraction behind Michael. As always, we`ll debrief and analyse and look for something he can go better with tomorrow.

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