Van der Mark, who was left frustrated after crashing out of the lead in WorldSBK Race 1 yesterday, bounced back strongly in this morning's Superpole sprint race, which he led in the opening stages, but finished in third place after a close battle with his fellow podium finishers, Toprak Razgatlioglu and Rea.
The 26-year-old Dutchman rider got an equally good start from the front row of the grid in Race 2 and, together with Rea, pulled away from the rest of the field when Razgatlioglu crashed out of third place and the pursuing pack lost time taking evasive action. It looked like it was going to be a race long, two-way battle for the win, as van der Mark and Rea took turns to lead but Lowes, who'd been caught behind the second lap crash, was on a lone charge and closing fast.
The 29-year-old Briton eventually caught the leading duo at half race distance, but having used his tyres to close the gap, wasn't able to then mount a challenge for the win. The Kawasaki rider made his move with nine laps remaining, passing the Yamaha for the lead and then pushing to the limit to gain an advantage of half a second. Van der Mark, who was also on the limit, could only maintain and not close the gap and he took the chequered flag in second place, with teammate Lowes following him across the line in third to conclude a successful day for the Pata Yamaha WorldSBK team.
Van der Mark's two podium finishes today promoted him back to fourth place in the championship standings and to within five points of his teammate Lowes in third, which was how the two Pata Yamaha riders started the Magny-Cours weekend.GRT Yamaha Supported WorldSBK rider, Marco Melandri, declared himself satisfied with his performance in this afternoon's WorldSBK Race 2, in which he fought his way through from 12th position on the grid to eventually get the better of an intense battle with Leon Haslam and podium finisher in yesterday's Race 1, Tom Sykes, to finish sixth.
Sandro Cortese endured a disappointing end to what had been a difficult debut weekend at Magny-Cours aboard the GRT Yamaha YZF-R1. The reigning Supersport World Champion was 11th in the Superpole sprint race this morning, but confident of a much stronger performance in WorldSBK Race 2 this afternoon. Unfortunately, Cortese encountered a technical problem in the opening stages of the race, which eventually forced his retirement.
Ten Kate Yamaha's Loris Baz continues to improve as he gains familiarity with the Ten Kate Yamaha YZF-R1 that he raced for the first time in Jerez in June. The Frenchman again reduced the gap to the winner in all three races this weekend, with his best result coming in WorldSBK Race 2, where he finished as the top independent rider in fifth position.
The Magny-Cours weekend brings to a close the European season and the Yamaha WorldSBK teams will now head overseas for the final two races of 2019 in Argentina and Qatar.