The Misano test was an important one for all five Yamaha riders but the weather refused to cooperate, with all but a few hours of the two-day test affected by rain. Despite the limited dry track time both the Pata Yamaha and GRT Yamaha riders managed to complete most of their planned test programs, with positive results. For Baz the Misano test was the first opportunity he’s had to familiarise himself with the Ten Kate Yamaha R1 that he’ll race for the first time this weekend in Jerez.
After narrowly missing out on the podium in Imola, where he finished fourth in both races, van der Mark is confident that he has the pace to challenge for the top three this weekend in Jerez. With three podium finishes to his name already this season, the Pata Yamaha rider currently lies fourth in the championship standings with 134 points, just six points behind his teammate, Lowes.Lowes showed incredible resilience in Imola, where he had to contend with a debilitating stomach bug all weekend. Despite being far from fit, the 28-year-old Briton rode to two impressive points scoring finishes, with seventh place in Race 1 and a hard fought fifth place in Sunday morning’s Superpole Race. Lowes is now back to full fitness and is keen to add to his tally of four podiums in Jerez, as he looks to consolidate his third place in the championship standings.
Imola proved a difficult weekend for the GRT Yamaha pairing of Cortese and Melandri, with crashes and set-up issues limiting the competitiveness of both riders. Jerez is a track that Cortese and Melandri know well and both head into round six of the FIM Superbike World Championship this weekend with renewed confidence, after a productive test in Misano, despite the inclement weather.
For Baz and the Ten Kate Yamaha team the Jerez weekend will be an opportunity to continue the familiarization process with the Yamaha YZF-R1 that they will campaign for the remainder of the season. The Frenchman, who last turned a wheel in anger at the final round of the 2018 season in Qatar, is under no illusions about the weekend ahead, but is very much looking forward to making his return to racing after his enforced seven month layoff.