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Round 3 – Aragon
MotorLand Aragón, Spain
Race two of the third round of the FIM Superbike World Championship proved to be a challenging one for the #honda #worldsbk Team. #michaelvandermark claimed a seventh place finish in front of the MotorLand Aragón crowd, while #nickyhayden had to retire on the fifteenth lap due to a technical problem.
Van der Mark enjoyed a great start from 11th place on the grid, immediately setting his sights on sixth after a good first half of the opening lap. The 23-year-old from Rotterdam then moved up to fifth aboard his #honda #cbr1000rrfirebladesp after a successful overtaking manoeuvre on Alex Lowes. As the race progressed, van der Mark could not stay with the front-runners and sensibly decided to ride at his own pace, while defending fifth place from Jordi Torres. In the closing stages of the encounter, he lost one more position to a recovering Davide Giugliano and was seventh at the chequered flag.
Nicky Hayden had a good launch from row 3 and was running in the top 7 in the early stages of the encounter. He was lapping in ninth place on lap seven when he ran wide and lost a lot of ground after experiencing a braking problem. The 34-year-old American did all he could to finish the race, but eventually had to make his way back to the pits at the end of lap 15.
The next round of the 2016 FIM Superbike World Championship will take place in two weekends at the Dutch TT Assen circuit.
Michael van der Mark 60
The race was more difficult than I expected. We lost some time in the warm up so I could only do a few laps. I had a great start and I was able to make up some positions, but I could feel that the bike setup was not working as well as it did in practice. I did all that was possible to keep a good pace but in the end I was losing a lot of ground. I’m glad we could score some points today but this is definitely not the position I want to be in. Now I cannot wait to go back on track at Assen, where I’m sure we can bounce back to the front.
- Honda WorldSBK
Nicky Hayden 69
It was a bad day; there is not much else to say. Everything that could have gone wrong did go wrong: on the sighting lap we started having some problems and on the warm up lap, again, I could feel something was still not right. We had a big vibration at the front end and I could not get my bike stopped. I tried to stay out to salvage some points but there was not much I could do. Eventually it got worse, so I chose not to take any unnecessary risks and pulled out of the race. It’s the second DNF of the season, which prevented me from getting more experience on the bike, but it is what it is. We have learned something today and we now look forward to the next round.
- Honda WorldSBK
Michael had a great start and was battling for a top-five finish, but ultimately he could not keep a strong pace and had to ride defensively up to the chequered flag. He has done very well today, but things just didn’t go in the right direction for him to perform at his very best. Given the strong results we’ve had in the first two rounds, seventh place is definitely not a satisfying result for us. Nicky had a decent start but very soon started to slow down, and with a few laps to go he couldn’t do anything else but retire. There was a problem with the bike, which is being analysed as we speak, and we’re sorry about how today has unfolded for him. We will go through all the data from this weekend, in order to be ready for our home race at Assen.
- Honda WorldSBK
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