Pata Honda World Superbike
The Dutch rider who clinched the 2014 World Supersport title two rounds early – Michael van der Mark – has signed with the Pata Honda World Superbike team.
The 21-year-old rider, who won the Supersport title for Pata Honda, signed a two-year contract to ride with Pata Honda World Superbike through 2016. Pata – the Italian snack company – also extended its contract last week with the factory Honda efforts in Superbike and Supersport.
Pata Honda has not yet announced who will pilot the other CBR1000RR SP Fireblade in 2015. One of its current riders – Jonathan Rea – is rumored to be joining Kawasaki in 2015.
Van der Mark, who raced on Honda CBR600RR machinery for the past four years, winning the 2012 European Superstock 600 and the 2014 Supersport titles, is no stranger to the Honda CBR1000RR; he won the last two consecutive Suzuka 8 Hours races (FIM Endurance World Championship).
Van der Mark has two rounds to go in World Supersport – Magny-Cours in France October 5, and Losail in Qatar November 2. After that, he will begin testing the CBR1000RR machine to prep for 2015 World SBK.
Michael van der Mark says “I’m really, really happy with this next step. It’s been going in two-year stages for me with the team, so this next stage in World Superbikes is fantastic and really exciting. It’s a good and safe place to be with Honda for 2015 and 2016.
“I’ve had a great experience with this team for the last two years and there was never really any question that I would be going anywhere else. World Superbikes in 2015 is going to be really interesting – there are new technical regulations and I think there will be a few surprises next year. Although the electronics will be a big change for me, I have shown that I can ride a superbike and now I really can’t wait to get started.”
Ronald ten Kate, Team Manager, says “In a way, I’m a little sad that we have to let Michael go from his contract with Ten Kate Racing for 2015. But in reality, I am absolutely happy and proud that he has been given this fantastic opportunity with Honda. There is now a clear plan and vision to grow his impressive talent in the future.
“We have been working with Michael now for four years – two in Superstock 600 and two in World Supersport – so this next step for him feels completely natural. He fully deserves this chance and we are all looking forward to taking these next steps together with him.”
Robert Watherston, Head of Motorsports, Honda Europe, says: “We are absolutely delighted that Michael has found his niche with Honda. He has gelled with the CBR range from day one in European Superstock where he became champion in 2012. Now he has a world title with Honda and the CBR600RR and we’re looking forward to the next two-year cycle as we target our common goal of another world championship together.”
Michael van der Mark Biography:
- Date of birth: 26 October 1992
- Place of birth: Gouda, Netherlands
- Home town: Rotterdam, Netherlands
- Race number: 60
- Race machine: Pata Honda CBR600RR
- First race: 2005 – Assen, Netherlands, Dutch Jr. Cup
- World Supersport debut: 2012 – Moscow, Russia (wildcard)
- World Supersport races: 20
- First World Supersport podium: 2013 – Phillip Island, Australia
- Total World Supersport podiums: 11
- First World Supersport win: 2014 – Assen, the Netherlands
- Total World Supersport wins: 5
- 2005 4th, Dutch Junior Cup – Aprilia
- 2006 2nd, Dutch Junior Cup – Aprilia
- 2007 2nd, ONK Dutch 125cc championship – Honda
- 2008 ONK Dutch 125cc champion – Honda; 3rd, IDM 125cc championship – Honda; Selected CEV Spanish championship – Honda; 26th, Dutch 125cc GP – Honda
- 2009 ONK Dutch 125cc champion – Honda; Selected CEV Spanish championship – Honda; 18th, Dutch 125cc GP – Honda
- 2010 125cc Grands Prix – Lambretta; 7th, Dutch 125cc GP; Debut, European Superstock 600 championship – Honda
- 2011 3rd, European STK 600 championship – Honda; Wildcard – Moto2 GP, Assen
- 2012 European Superstock 600 champion – Honda
- 2013 4th, World Supersport championship – Honda; Winner, Suzuka 8-hours – Honda
- 2014 Winner, Suzuka 8-hours – Honda; WORLD SUPERSPORT CHAMPION – Pata Honda CBR600RR