WSBK 2017: Van der Mark replaces Guintoli at Yamaha
The game of musical saddles continues in World Superbike: replaced by Stefan Bradl at Honda in 2017, Michael van der Mark has chosen to join Alex Lowes at Yamaha. So it’s Sylvain Guintoli’s turn to find a handlebar for next year….
Like Jonathan Rea, a pure Honda Ten Kate product which passed the competition last year – with resounding and potentially redoubled success! -, Michael van der Mark is about to leave the HRC to join the official Yamaha Pata team, in place of Sylvain Guintoli (read below).
MNC invites you to the WSBK at Magny-Cours
Titled on CBR600RR in European Superstock in 2012 then in World Supersport in 2014 (read), "Magic Michael" logically continues his career in World Superbike in 2015 at the controls of the CBR1000RR prepared by the Ten Kate team, who has been riding him since his debut international.
The start of the season is very uneven for the n ° 60: he climbs brilliantly on "his" two podiums at home but only scores points in one race out of two on average. His teammate Sylvain Guintoli, then reigning WSBK champion, is much more consistent while not exceeding 5th place.
The second half of the 2015 season of "Mickey" is more constant, so much so that the beginner ends his first year in the big leagues in 7th place in the championship with a total of 194 points, behind his French teammate (6th with 214 points ) and the best rookie of the 2015 season Jordi Torres (5th, 247).
"Guinters" left in 2016 to develop the R1 – finally! – entered in World Superbike, Michael is teaming up this season with an equally prestigious rider: Nicky Hayden, crowned in MotoGP in 2006 with the HRC. The Dutchman does not let himself be impressed and starts his second season on the hats of wheels…
Guintoli on a second Aprilia track !
| When announcing the return in 2017 of, Site naturally questioned Sylvain Guintoli: would he be able to keep his No. 50 fetish and – above all – was the Milwaukee team part of his tracks envisaged for next season? ?
"Guinters" replied that there would be "several teams with Aprilia in 2017" … Could our beloved Frenchie get back on an official RSV4 within a serious team next year? We hope so, because it is under these conditions that he won the world title in 2014…
During the first four events, "VDM" signs its first Superpole and climbs on four podiums! Unfortunately for him, the Fireblade is not as sharp as its rivals (Kawasaki and Ducati in the lead) on the following circuits, which prevents it from reaching the Top 5.
Unlike Hayden, who courageously took advantage of the dire track conditions at Sepang to secure his first World Superbike victory, Michael van der Mark once again shines in the dry at Misano by accompanying the unbeatable Rea and Sykes on the podium….
Undoubtedly constrained by the performance of his Fireblade – with which he nevertheless won twice the Suzuka 8H – Van der Mark will not ride next year on the new one – therefore competitive? – Honda Superbike: we have known since this summer that …
"I had several options this year," Michael told the official WorldSBK.Com website, and "one of them was Honda. They made me a good offer to stay." But the desire for change, which Jonathan Rea had already felt before him, was stronger…
"It was a difficult decision to leave Honda and Ten Kate", assures the n ° 60, "but for me it is a new adventure and I felt that I needed it". Like the ruthless "JR", titled in WSBK in his first year on the excellent Kawasaki, could "VDM" win next year on the recent Yamaha? ?
"I can’t wait to take on this new challenge with the Yamaha," Van der Mark officially says. "I have been able to see the potential of the R1 during its first World Superbike season this year and I am confident that by continuing to develop and with all the support from Yamaha and the team, I will have the right material for fight for the title next year ".
At the same time, bad luck will have to leave the Blues clan: this year, the official Yamaha riders – in both Superbike and Superstock 1000 categories – have all been injured, thus limiting the progress of the Iwata Superbike….
"Despite the hardships encountered by Yamaha when returning to the WSBK this season, it was a pleasure to participate in this project from the start and I look forward to capitalizing on our accomplished work", observes Alex Lowes who in fact signed an additional season on the handlebars of "the R1, a magic motorcycle to ride".
A sacred motorcycle – not yet titled … – which could also lead its riders to an even more exceptional machine: the MotoGP M1! Alex Lowes is currently having a great experience: after his reward for his, the English n ° 22 is about to participate in .
Yamaha in WSBK: place for young people !
The decision to replace Sylvain Guintoli with Michael van den Mark alongside Alex Lowes is not trivial: the Frenchman is 34 years old while the Dutch will blow out his 24 candles on October 10, and the British his 26 September 14.
"Our rider duo illustrates our philosophy: to select young riders who not only have the talent to fight for victory in the WSBK but also the ability to potentially develop their careers with Yamaha", analyzes Eric de Seynes, COO at Yamaha Motor Europe.
"Thus, Yamaha would like to use the World Superbike as a platform allowing it to demonstrate its competitive spirit with the production R1 and to further develop the family of Yamaha riders", continues the big boss of the Blues, specifying that "Michael corresponds perfectly to this philosophy.
A dress speech led – it is always the case with "EDS" – and full of good intentions, but however a bit wobbly: Van der Mark has never previously ridden on a Yamaha, unlike Loris Baz for example, the – very – young protege of "JCO"…
According to Yamaha, the antechamber would no longer be Moto2 (Honda engine category, yuck!) But rather World Superbike … considered by some observers and fans of motorcycle speed as the early retirement of some Grand Prix stars (Checa , Biaggi or Melandri lately) !
Far from these considerations, before aiming for MotoGP and even before attempting to win the World Superbike title in 2017 with Yamaha, Michael van der Mark is keen to fight for 4th place in the provisional classification which he occupies jointly with Davide. Giugliano (185 points each).
The end of the 2016 World Superbike Championship can be followed on MNC. Next event: that of the Lausitzring (Germany), to be experienced as always in the near-live on the Moto Journal du Net … Stay tuned !
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