Supersport – Exclusive interview with Michael van der Mark: “We want to win and fight for the title”

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Michael van der Mark in action at the Phillip Island circuit

We caught up Michael van der Mark, the young Dutch talent who is facing to his second season in the Supersport World Championship, once again with Team Pata Honda. Last year the ex-European Superstock 600 Champion has started really well with two podiums but in 2014 the 21 years old had an unlucky start of season. In the first race of World Supersport Championship at the Phillip Island circuit van der Mark started from the front row of the grid, alongside reigning World Champion, Kenan Sofuoglu but a couple of crashes have left Michael empty-handed.

There is a lot of expectations for this season about the young Dutch talent and the Team Pata Honda. During the winter test van der Mark and his team-mate Lorenzo Zanetti have tested the bike and there have been a lot of improvements. Their goal is fight for the win in each race and also be title contenders.

This is your second year in the World Championship. Do you still feel like a rookie or can you tell that you have experience now?

I don’t feel like a rookie anymore because in one year in Supersport you gain a lot of experience. But if you observe how much experience Kenan has I’m still a rookie.

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Van der Mark won the 2012 Superstock 600 European Championship

Are you satisfied with your progress during the 2013 season?

To be honest we didn’t make the progress we wanted during the first season. I wanted more but we started at a really high level so the steps were small during the season.

What are your expectations for this season?

We want to win and fight for the title. We started really fast and I hope we can keep this pace.

There aren’t many Dutch riders in the World Championship. Does this create any pressure on you?

There is no pressure for me because of this. But I am happy to be in the World Supersport Championship for my country.

There is an interminable wait for round 2. In 2014, there are seven weeks between the first and second round. How have you planned to spend this time?

I just keep on training on my fitness. Nothing else more can we do, I did just one day of testing in Assen but now I just have to wait.

8 H DE SUZUKA 2013 TEAM MUSASHI

Michael van der Mark, Yuki Takahashi and Leon Haslam won the 2013 Suzuka 8 hours

Which race has been your favourite so far? Magny Cours 2012?

Of course Magny Cours is the special one! – When van der Mark won the 2012 Superstock 600 European Championship in his second season – But my favourite has been the Suzuka 8 hours one! It’s just something special and few people can say they win this race.

What are your long term objectives with the team Pata Honda?

I don’t have a long term contract with the team. But for clear is that I’m really happy with this team with all there experience and also with the Honda family.

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