Lining up eighth on the grid after a difficult Superpole qualifying session, van der Mark got one of his trademark lightning starts and had fought his way through to fourth on the opening lap, with teammate Lowes in close attendance behind. The two Pata Yamaha riders then rode in formation until Lowes made a pass for fourth on lap three, before having to surrender the position as the effects of his illness started to take their toll on his energy reserves.
Once back in front of his teammate the retirement of Tom Sykes at half race distance promoted van der Mark to third and into what would prove a titanic battle with Razgatlioglu and Leon Haslam for the final podium position. The Turkish rider made his move on lap 11, outbraking van der Mark into turn two to claim third position, which, despite a spirited challenge from the Pata Yamaha rider in the final two laps, he managed to defend to the line, leaving van der Mark to finish fourth. The Dutch rider was quick to congratulate Razgatlioglu, not just for the podium finish but also for the close but fair fight over the final few laps.
With his energy reserves sapped by the illness he’s been suffering with all weekend, Lowes was unable to match the pace of his teammate and, as the race progressed, dropped back into the clutches of first Haslam and then Melandri, eventually finishing the race in seventh place; an heroic effort given his physical condition. Lowes is confident that, if he can recover some of his strength overnight then he has the package necessary to fight for the podium tomorrow.
After struggling with a number of set-up issues throughout free practice and qualifying, GRT Yamaha’s Melandri managed to make a small improvement ahead of the race, which allowed the Italian to salvage a sixth place finish, much to the delight of his home crowd.It proved a difficult Race 1 for Cortese, who lost much of yesterday’s second free practice session due to a crash on the harder option front tyre.
The reigning Supersport World Champion was initially involved in the battle for a top ten finish, but a crash without injury at turn 12 with just three laps remaining brought his race to a premature conclusion. The four Yamaha riders will be back in action tomorrow morning in the 10-lap Superpole sprint race, which gets underway at 11.00, followed by lights out for Race 2 at 14.00.