Michael van der Mark earned podium finishes in both races in this weekend’s Superbike action, leaving him very happy indeed.
The Honda rider earned a third place on Saturday and was in contention for the lead on Sunday.
Chaz Davies’ crash gifted Van der Mark second place behind the indomitable Jonathan Rae, which sees the Dutchman move into second place in the championship race.
“The pace wasn’t really high but it was good for me because I could save the front tyre,” the 23-year-old told crash.net.
“Later we saw Tom start strong and he was pushing a little bit but he made a mistake and this made the pace go a little bit faster.
“It wasn’t the plan to lead the race but I had a good slipstream and I passed Jonathan. I tried to do my own pace at the front. I saw on the big screen at turn ten that the front group was so big. I tried to break the group, get the pace consistent and high and it worked quite well.
“I knew the last laps would be difficult for me. It ended up that Johnny and Chaz passed me but I could still hold on and I wasn’t scared of them going away. Chaz made a couple of passes on Johnny and unfortunately the last one didn’t work for him.
“I tried to stay as close as possible to Johnny in the last lap. He didn’t make any mistake and I made a small one. Also, I already had too much of the tyre. To finish second is amazing. We had a really good weekend. The team did a fantastic job to improve the bike and I can’t think of a better way to start the season.”