The best thing about CRT, and now the Open Class in MotoGP, is it always throws in a few random names to keep you on your toes; riders who may not get that first or final fling at World Championship points otherwise.
So following on nicely from last years ‘Who is Bryan Staring?’ post, I am this year covering similar ground with ‘Who is Broc Parkes?’
After the retirement of Casey Stoner, the Australian fans who like to shout for a home rider have had little to follow.
Last season they had the previously mentioned Bryan Staring at Gresini on a CRT and Damian Cudlin had a short run at the end of the championship aboard the Paul Bird effort.
Not much there to shout about result-wise, but it meant there was still an Australian to watch in MotoGP and as Parkes is technically taking the seat temporarily held by Cudlin he now ensures that the country remains represented, continuing a 31 year unbroken run in the top class of championship racing.
Parkes, who has one previous Grand Prix start to his name, a 125cc wild-card entry back in 1999, posted the following quote to his personal website – brocparkes.com:
“Firstly, I’d like to say a massive thanks to Paul Bird for the opportunity to work with his team once again; I’m really looking forward to it. This is the premier class and it’s every rider’s dream to race in MotoGP. I know this is going to be a tough season but I’m certainly up for the challenge, I can’t wait to get started.”
The 31-year-old (who will be 32 by the start of the season with his birthday falling on Christmas Eve) has previously been employed by the PBM team in the World Superbike Championship.
Paul Bird ran him aboard his Kawasaki effort in 2009 alongside Makoto Tamada.
He also raced the final Superbike round in Jerez this season on a Monster Energy Yamaha and placed 18th and 12th.
His greatest success has come a class below in World Supersport, where Parkes has twice been runner-up, taking second overall in 2004 and 2007.
He fell in love with bike racing after watching fellow countryman and legend Wayne Gardner win a race, he was lucky enough to have him as his manager for a spell earlier in his career.
Parkes has also participated in the Suzuka 8 Hour endurance race, he was picked after racing in a Japanese series for that season, showcasing his talent.
He will ride the PBM Aprillia alongside Michael Laverty who is retained by the team for 2014.