Van der Mark will companion 2013 WSBK champion Tom Sykes at BMW’s manufacturing unit workforce subsequent 12 months, marking the tip of a four-year stint with Yamaha that included 4 victories, a finest end of third within the championship, and two successes on the Suzuka 8 Hours.
BMW has to attain a race win since its manufacturing unit return in 2019, with Sykes’ second-place end at Misano final 12 months one of the best outcome secured by the German marque since then.
The outfit recruited 13-time WSBK race winner Eugene Laverty to companion Sykes in 2020, however after a disappointing season the ex-MotoGP rider has been dropped to make means for van der Mark.
Nonetheless, Yamaha Crew Supervisor Paul Denning has misgivings in regards to the Dutch rider’s transfer to BMW, saying it is not going to assist him obtain his dream of securing a maiden WSBK title.
“I shared with him overtly, he is aware of what my opinion is – I believe he has made the unsuitable resolution for his profession and the unsuitable resolution if he needs to be world champion,” Denning advised Motorsport.com. “However who is aware of as a result of if that workforce makes a giant step and the bike is incredible, no person can know.
“Truthfully, he leaves and we are saying goodbye with zero damaging emotions, solely assist. As a workforce participant and as a supporter of the undertaking he’s been actually good at, on the bike, off the bike, every little thing.”
Van der Mark underlined his place as one of many sequence’ most interesting riders throughout his time at Yamaha, scoring a podium for each 4 races he contested with the Crescent-run squad amid sturdy opposition from Kawasaki and Ducati. The Dutch rider, nonetheless, missed final 12 months’s trio of races at Misano after struggling a wrist damage throughout apply.
Requested how he would sum up van der Mark’s tenure at Yamaha, Denning stated: “Profitable, actually. Not solely contemplating the World Superbike races and what he has achieved right here, but additionally the Suzuka 8 hours victories and the best way he has fitted into the workforce.
“When the rider enjoys being inside a workforce, it’s simple for the workforce to assist him. The nicest factor about Mikey is that he can throw his helmet across the storage and after quarter-hour he’s completed we are able to reset and begin once more. Even when he has a nasty Friday, you may at all times assure when the lights exit he races so onerous.
“And actually the one disappointment was the Misano accident final 12 months which was not his fault, brought about the wrist breakage and that actually compromised loads of races and he was actually there and I believe he would have gained extra races final 12 months with out that.
“In all probability that’s the one damaging level as a result of for those who have a look at the expansion step-by-step, he’s been higher and higher yearly.”
Van der Mark might be replaced by newly-crowned World Supersport champion Andrea Locatelli, with Toprak Razgatlioglu retaining the opposite seat after scoring three wins in his maiden marketing campaign with the manufacturing unit workforce.
Michael van Der Mark, BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Crew
Gold and Goose / Motorsport Photos