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Michael van der Mark completed a stellar recovery in today’s 21-lap FIM Superbike World Championship race one at Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours to take second place in spectacular fashion in front of the French crowd. After a promising start, his Honda #worldsbk team mate Nicky Hayden was forced into an early retirement at the end of lap 10 due to a technical problem.
The race got underway on a wet – but drying – track, with both Hayden and van der Mark able to get a great launch off sixth and seventh places on the grid. In the early laps, they ran as high as third and fourth, while swapping positions between themselves several times. After losing one place to Leon Camier, on lap six Hayden was the first rider to opt for a tyre change. After a couple of tentative laps, the American rider started to settle into a good rhythm and made up several places; unfortunately, by the end of the tenth lap he had to make his way back to the garage after suffering a technical problem, which put an end to a promising performance.
Van der Mark’s choice to pit at the end of lap 8 proved to be an excellent one: the 23-year-old from Rotterdam made perfect use of Pirelli’s slick tyres to storm past his rivals and, during the penultimate lap, he overtook Savadori for second place. He then managed to hold his position up to the chequered flag despite a resurgent Tom Sykes and crossed the line with a 0.347s margin over his rival.
Courtesy of his sixth podium finish of the season, van der Mark consolidates his fourth place in the championship standings.
Race two will take place tomorrow at 1pm local time (GMT +2) after the traditional 15-minute warm up scheduled at 9:25am.
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