Courtesy of Yamaha Racing
After the last instalment of Pata Yamaha WorldSBK’s Wednesday Wisdom, we decided to take a night off and handed the recorder over to Team Principal Paul Denning to chat with Michael van der Mark in his motorhome at Imola. With Formula 1 Free Practice in the background on one TV, and Call of Duty: Black Ops waiting ready to play on another in the 26-year-old’s home-away-from-home, this is how the chat developed…
Paul Denning (PD): I had known the name Michael van der Mark since you started racing, but we didn’t speak properly until towards the end of 2016…
Michael van der Mark (MVDM): Where was it? Oh yes Laguna. Then nobody was allowed to know, I think, but now they can. Things also went really quick that weekend, you guys were clear what you wanted which was cool.
PD: It was nice because it was not complicated, it was clear you were ready for a new challenge – when things are complicated they’re generally not right. So as soon as we could, we made the announcement and started winter testing. You’ve since become a Yamaha rider and a Yamaha personality, but we never take the time to just chat and understand more about each other. I know you as a professional, but who is Michael van der Mark as a person and as a character?
MVDM: Boring. I always act like I’m boring.
PD: Really quite boring! Boring when you keep winding me up like a kid every weekend… But we’ve been in some places where *clearly* boredom is not on the agenda. Some places after a good result like in Thailand…
MVDM: Yeah, I can’t remember that *laughs*
PD: So what kind of kid were you? Both family life and interests but also school? Did you enjoy it?
MVDM: Which kid actually enjoys school? I wasn’t bored at all, but I did good – I don’t know how! Because I was always, not annoying, but I was not always paying attention. Even though I wasn’t paying attention, I was still picking it up.