Van der Mark lined up in second position on the grid for WorldSBK Race 1, which was rescheduled at 11.00 this morning after being postponed from yesterday due to adverse weather conditions. The Pata Yamaha rider got a good start but an out of the seat moment in the final chicane at the end of the opening lap dropped him back into the clutches of Jonathan Rea, who passed him for third on the entry to turn one.
At half race distance van der Mark caught and passed Markus Reiterberger to secure third place, which he held to the line to claim his first podium finish of the 2019 season. Lowes crossed the line just behind his Pata Yamaha teammate in fourth place, after finally getting the better of a fairing bashing battle with Leon Haslam on the very last lap.
Melandri, hampered by his starting position after a difficult Superpole session yesterday, managed to hold off his GRT Yamaha teammate, Cortese, to finish in the points in 12th position. Cortese, struggling with pain in his shoulder following his big crash in Superpole yesterday, still managed to pick up points in 13th place.
Race 2, held in slightly warmer conditions this afternoon, proved a thriller for the Dutch fans who’d braved the unseasonably cold weather all weekend. While Alvaro Bautista managed to once again pull a gap at the front in the early stages of the race, the battle for the remaining podium positions, in which both van der Mark and Lowes were heavily involved in from the start, proved a frantic one.
Just before half race distance, with Bautista out front and Rea chasing to close the gap in second, Lowes swept past van der Mark to take third place, only to have to relinquish the position four laps later when his front tyre started to go off and he almost lost the front on two occasions.
The 28-year-old Briton had a comfortable gap back to his closest pursuer, so backed off to ensure he finished fourth and picked up valuable championship points.
With a clear track in front of him, van der Mark set about chasing down Rea. With just three laps to go the Pata Yamaha rider made his move, riding around the outside of the reigning world champion at the kink at Hoge Heide, one of the fastest corners on the track, to take second place. Rea fought back on the final lap, but van der Mark closed the door on his rival and then out dragged him to the line to claim his best result of the season so far.
Race 2 proved another tough outing for Cortese and Melandri, but this time it was the German who took the advantage to add to his championship points tally with an 11th place finish, while Melandri picked up two points in 14th position.