Honda pair suffer in Germany after Promising First Day

Round 10 of the 2016 FIM Superbike World Championship has drawn to a close for the Honda WorldSBK Team, with Michael van der Mark and Nicky Hayden finishing race two at the Lausitzring in eighth and tenth places, respectively. After being delayed a couple of times due to adverse weather conditions, the race got underway at 13:47 with a reduced race distance of 16 laps and was contested on a very slippery surface.

Michael van der Mark maintained his position at the start and, as the race reached its halfway point, he was sixth but under pressure from former teammate Sylvain Guintoli, who got past him two laps later. With three laps to go, the young Dutchman crashed out of seventh place at turn nine; despite substantial damage on his Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP machine, he bravely re-joined the race to claim an eighth place at the line.

Nicky Hayden had a very difficult start from the front row of the grid and by lap three he had dropped down to 18th place. Although he was unable to find a competitive rhythm, Hayden made his way back to 11th place, before he was forced to run straight on at turn six on lap 11, when Alex Lowes crashed in front of him. After returning to the track in 12th position, the experienced American rode his way to a tenth place finish.

The next round of the FIM Superbike World Championship will take place at Magny-Cours in France in a fortnight’s time.

Van Der Mark: I really wanted to finish

We had a nice dry warm up, in which we tried a couple of changes which gave us a bit more grip and I definitely felt better on the bike compared to yesterday. When it was time to race, race direction decided it was better to wait given the amount of rain that was falling. It was the right decision as there was basically no visibility at all. I got a good start to the race but the track was very slippery and I couldn’t lean as much as I wanted. After a couple of laps, I saw Giugliano crashing out of the race and I immediately thought about the championship situation, because the priority was to stay upright. Then, with three laps to go I simply locked the front and crashed. I really wanted to finish the race so I picked up the bike and rode two laps with barely any front brake. These are very important points for me, so all in all I’m not too disappointed.

Hayden: I will try to make up for it at Magny Cours

Warm up went very well, but obviously the conditions changed for the race and it ended up not being my best day. I didn’t have a good race at all and I apologise to the team. Yesterday I did a silly mistake very early during FP3 in the wet so I had no data from the session for these type of conditions. This really put us on the back foot, especially in the early laps. Eventually I started to feel better but on the main straight, when I caught Lowes, he ended up crashing in front of me and by instinct I released the brakes for a split second and ended up running off. Given how the track is, when I returned to the track I had lost almost 15 seconds and a couple of places. Still my performance in the wet was not good and I will try to make up for it in Magny-Cours.

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