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He is the first ever Dutch Superstock 600 UEM European champion, the first ever Dutch World Supersport champion and the first ever Dutch WorldSBK podium finisher: Michael van der Mark from Rotterdam in the Netherlands. In 2017 he will race the Yamaha YZF-R1 in WorldSBK for the Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team with only one goal as he wants to be the best of the world again.
After he was named rookie of the year in 2007 he became double Dutch 125cc champion in 2008 and 2009. During the Dutch TT of 2008 he made his Grand Prix 125cc debut. Two years later he was a permanent GP rider aboard a Lambretta 125 but his impressive progression ends at once when the Italian manufacturer pulls out from racing.
His first ever international success is winning the 2012 Superstock 600 UEM European championship in his second season with the EAB Ten Kate Junior Team. It was an especially impressive performance from van der Mark, who began his career racing in 2005 in the Dutch 125cc Junior Cup when he was already twelve years old.
In 2013 van der Mark secures a permanent ride in the World Supersport class and he doesn’t disappoint. Back-to-back podiums in the first two rounds lays the foundations for an impressive season, where he ultimately finishes fourth after regular top 10 finishes and a third podium at Turkey in round 11.
In that debut World Championship season, van der Mark also becomes the first ever Dutch winner of the prestigious Suzuka 8 hour race in Japan, where he partnered Leon Haslam.
The year after, the Dutch flyer comes of age as a full-time professional racer taking six wins and four second-place finishes from the 11 races to win the 2014 World Supersport Championship with two rounds to spare. He also adds a second successive Suzuka 8 hour win to his rapidly expanding CV, catching the eye of several seasoned paddock veterans and more than one former world champion along the way.
It was no surprise when van der Mark was promoted to the Honda World Superbike team for 2015. The rookie makes an impressive debut as he leads Race 2 for five laps in the opening round at Phillip Island. The then 22-year-old rider claims three podium finishes over the course of his maiden WSBK season, including two third places at his home round of Assen, the first ever WorldSBK podiums for a Dutchmen. After two years in World Superbike, he has secured eight podiums and one pole position to-date across the past two seasons and shows an increasing maturity, speed and hunger to win.
Van der Mark is very much looking forward to his new challenge with the Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team as the Dutchmen is convinced that he will have the right package to fight for World Superbike honours in 2017.