Broc Parkes realises a MotoGP™ dream

Broc Parkes realises a MotoGP™ dream
Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Broc Parkes will be Australia’s sole representative on the MotoGP™ grid this season. Having been unable to ride for Paul Bird Motorsport during its mid-season rider reshuffle last year, the New South Wales rider has now signed up with the team full-time.

Parkes will make his MotoGP™ premier class debut as a former two-time runner-up in the World Supersport Championship and over recent years has become a familiar face in the Eni FIM Superbike World Championship. He is now thoroughly excited about his return to the MotoGP™ World Championship, almost 15 years after a one-off wildcard outing in the 125 class at the 1999 Australian Grand Prix.

"It was a long time ago!" he laughs. "I was racing in the Australian championship on an (Aprilia) RS125, won in that and had a wildcard at the GP. It was a bit of an experience; I think we were 20 or more kilometres down on the straight, so it was a little bit difficult! It’s always a dream to be in GP."

In 2013, PBM modified its line-up from Aragón onwards, with Parkes’ compatriot Damian Cudlin filling the breach as Yonny Hernandez moved to Pramac Racing. At the time, Parkes was offered the position but was unable to accept it.

"Paul Bird is a good friend of mine," the 32-year-old continues. "I have been friends with him for many years and rode for him in World Superbikes in 2009, then kept the relationship. He mentioned this to me last year, but I was contracted to Yamaha at the time and couldn’t fill in for an injured rider. He then rang me at the end of last year and it happened really quickly. He said to me, ‘It’s going to be a difficult year. You’re not going to be winning races but you’re on the right page. It’s a good opportunity – are you up for it?’ I am for sure up for it and I’m really excited."

Parkes becomes the new team-mate to Northern Ireland’s Michael Laverty, with both riders taking to PBM in-house motorcycles equipped with Aprilia engines.

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