Starting from fifth on the grid this morning, the Flying Dutchman made swift progress up to second place on the opening lap of the 10-lap sprint race. By lap three, the front group of Alvaro Bautista, Jonathan Rea and Van der Mark had pulled away from field until Bautista suffered a violent highside directly in front of the other two riders. Van der Mark avoided being caught up in the incident and immediately pulled away into the lead. His pace and consistency in the remaining laps delivered a winning margin of over 2.3 seconds over Rea.
The win meant a start from pole position for Race 2, which the 27-year-old took full advantage of. Following a short tussle with Chaz Davies and Michael Ruben Rinaldi, it was Davies, Van Der Mark and a surging Garrett Gerloff who settled into the leading trio. The Pata Yamaha rider challenged Davies strongly for the victory but in the final laps, with front grip becoming an issue, he engaged in a thrilling battle with GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team rookie Gerloff for second place, with Van der Mark narrowly the ‘victor’ at the chequered flag.
Teammate Toprak Razgatlıoğlu suffered a massive highside during the Warm-Up session this morning and, while he fortunately escaped serious injury, was unable to compete in the Sunday races.
Next up is the penultimate round of the revised 2020 WorldSBK calendar, held at Circuit Nevers Magny-Cours in just over a week’s time, starting on Friday 2 October.