The two Pata Yamaha riders head into round 10 of the FIM Superbike World Championship this weekend with their confidence high, after completing a positive test in Portimão back in August, in which Lowes posted his fastest ever lap of the Portuguese circuit on the second and final day to top the timesheet.
But while it was Lowes who departed the test as the fastest rider on track, it is teammate van der Mark who has enjoyed the most success in Portimão in recent seasons.
The 26-year-old Dutch rider a podium finisher three times in two years, including a double podium at the track 12 months ago.GRT Yamaha Supported WorldSBK rider, Sandro Cortese, also enjoyed a positive test at the Portimão circuit, having now recovered fully from the shoulder injury sustained at Donington Park back in July. The reigning Supersport World Champion heads to Portugal determined to rediscover the form that saw him regularly challenging for top six finishes earlier in the season.
Marco Melandri heads into the Portimão weekend still searching for a set up on the bike to better suit his super smooth riding style. The GRT Yamaha team have worked tirelessly over the summer break to support Melandri's performance and the veteran Italian, who has announced his retirement from racing at the end of the current season, is determined to reward his team's hard work with a strong showing in Portugal this weekend.
Ten Kate Yamaha Supported WorldSBK rider, Loris Baz, has his sights set firmly on the podium for the last four rounds of the 2019 season, after an extremely positive two-day test for the Frenchman and his crew in Portimão. A top ten finish in the championship standings is also a realistic possibility for Baz, despite him only returning to the series at Round 6 in Jerez. The Ten Kate Yamaha rider is currently 13th in the standings, but just 24 points off tenth position, which is currently held by fellow Yamaha rider, Cortese.
Construction of the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve was completed in 2008 and the venue hosted its first WorldSBK round the same year. A high-speed rollercoaster of a track, the 4.6km circuit features a challenging layout that combines fast, sweeping turns with more technical corners and huge changes in elevation and is demanding on both riders and machines.