Changes to the set-up of his R1 paid dividends for van der Mark in the sprint race, with the Pata Yamaha rider able to maintain a faster pace compared to yesterday. After a brief battle in the early stages, Van der Mark managed to pull away from the riders contesting fifth place, including Toprak Razgatlioglu, who’d denied the Pata Yamaha rider a podium finish yesterday. By the time he’d hit the front of the group, however, the gap to Alvaro Bautista and the last step of the podium was too big to bridge in the limited laps available and van der Mark had to settle for fourth at the line.
Although still suffering with the stomach bug that has caused him so many issues this weekend, it was a much stronger Lowes that lined up for the sprint race this morning. The Pata Yamaha rider was embroiled in the battle for fifth position from the start, eventually fighting his way to the front of the group and then pulling a gap on his pursuers. While disappointed not to have broken clear with his teammate earlier, Lowes was happy to add more points to his championship tally with a solid fifth place, after what has been a difficult weekend for the Briton.
The Imola weekend is one that Cortese will be happy to put behind him. The reigning Supersport World Champion struggled to find a good feeling with the bike and the track all weekend, which culminated in a 13th place finish in the Superpole sprint race this morning. Always upbeat in the face of adversity, Cortese is already looking forward to the next race in Jerez, a track he knows very well indeed.
Melandri was one of quite a few riders caught out by the changeable weather conditions ahead of the sprint race today. The GRT Yamaha rider opted to run a wet set-up on his R1, which left him at a distinct disadvantage when conditions for the 10-lap race remained dry. Combined with some unconnected issues in the race, it left the veteran Italian to finish in an uncharacteristic 17th position.
All four Yamaha riders will complete a two-day test in Misano ahead of the next round of the FIM Superbike World Championship, which takes place in Jerez over the weekend of 7 – 9 June.