A positive start for Pata Honda duo in Spain

Michael van der Mark set the overall seventh fastest time in the two practice sessions today at Aragon, Spain for the third round of the World Superbike Championship.

The Dutch SBK rookie is confident in the changes made today and feels that him and the team can make further improvements in tomorrow`s practice session ahead of the afternoon Superpole, where final grid places for Sunday`s race will be set.

Meanwhile van der Mark`s teammate Sylvain Guintoli set the ninth fastest time over the two sessions on-board the Pata Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP. The Frenchman has been trying different engine braking strategies and feels they are close with getting the right one ahead of tomorrow`s final free practice and Superpole.

Michael van der Mark – P7, 1m52.558s
I`m quite positive for today, in the first session I felt happy but for the second session we made some good changes and I improved my lap time. We have much to improve on but for today I`m happy. Tomorrow I think we will try a few more different options and hopefully again improve the lap times, and we will have a long run for a race simulation.

Sylvain Guintoli – P9, 1m52.617s
We have been working very hard to try and improve our pace this morning, this afternoon we found a new way with engine braking, which is positive so we`re trying to make this more efficient. Tomorrow we will try and improve again our performance and try to close the gap at the front. I`m confident we`re getting there and tomorrow we`ll work on race distances.

Pieter Breddels
In the end Michael finished seventh and Sylvain was ninth, so they`re really close with about two tenths between them. We`re looking at the problems from today, which aren`t huge things but it`s not just in one area. It`s mainly with both bike set-ups and we`re working through things. We are a little bit behind where we want to be but after trying different solutions today we have a clearer picture building of tomorrow and where to go. It`s all working progress and we have to keep pushing to try and close the gap.

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