WSB stars Lowes and Van der Mark re­mind the world of their true pace with em­phatic 8-Hour vic­tory

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week - SIMON PAT­TER­SON AT SUZUKA simon.pat­ter­son@mo­tor­cy­cle­ @Mc­n­sport mo­tor­cy­cle­news

The Yamaha World Su­per­bike pair­ing of Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark say they’ve shown ex­actly what they are ca­pa­ble of by tak­ing a stun­ning win at the Suzuka 8-Hour race along­side Ja­panese Su­per­bike cham­pion Kat­suyuki Naka­suga on the factory-run R1 ma­chine in Sun­day’s race.

The favourites did not put a foot wrong and made the win look rel­a­tively easy, fin­ish­ing a lap clear at the chequered flag. Lowes also set a new lap record for the four-mile track as the team dom­i­nated.

Com­plet­ing the whole eight hours of the race with­out a sin­gle problem while their ri­vals strug­gled with crashes and tech­ni­cal fail­ures is a trait that has be­come a hall­mark of the Yamaha squad as they’ve clocked up three con­sec­u­tive wins at the race with Naka­suga, Pol Es­par­garó, Bradley Smith, Lowes and now van der Mark.

Speak­ing after se­cur­ing his sec­ond Suzuka win in a row (from only three at­tempts), Lowes said: “It wasn’t easy, but we knew we had very good pace, even com­pared to last year. Honda were strong at the start of the race, but we looked smoother and they made a mis­take – and from then on we were in con­trol. We had a big gap, and we had to just be solid and look after the bike. But some­times it’s harder to do that than to re­ally go for it.

“I felt re­ally good on the bike, the oth­ers felt re­ally good on the bike, and we did a great job. We had a great at­mos­phere in the team, and I think it showed on track how well we worked to­gether.

“Con­di­tions were cooler, so it was a lit­tle bit eas­ier and there was a lit­tle bit more grip, but it was the same for ev­ery­one and we were a sec­ond quicker than them. I’m happy with how I’m rid­ing, and it’s good for me to prove that when the bike is work­ing well I can do a good job, and now we need to do a good job in World Su­per­bikes, too.”

But after a tough start to the 2017 sea­son for the pair, van der Mark ad­mit­ted af­ter­wards that they were out to prove a point at Suzuka. The pair feel they can com­pete with the very best when the bike is right – and it cer­tainly was at Suzuka!

“I think Alex and I have shown that if the bike is re­ally com­pet­i­tive then we can be re­ally strong as well and achieve great things. We have to im­prove the bike for the WSB se­ries now, but I’m pretty sure that that will hap­pen now after this week­end!”

‘Honda were strong at the start but we were smoother’

boys en­sured vic­tory for Yamaha Dom­i­nant per­for­mance from the World Su­per­bike Lowes puts in a se­ri­ous shift to put the factory Yamaha on top

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