Kawasaki World Superbike Team rider Broc Parkes enjoyed a better weekend when round two of the Hannspree World Superbike Championship took place at the Losail circuit in Doha, Qatar earlier today.
Riding for Paul Bird's team, the Australian not only managed a battling eleventh place start on the grid in the new Superpole format, but scored the team's first points of the campaign when he brought the Kawasaki ZX-10R into fourteenth place in the opening leg having run inside the top ten for much of the race until he lost traction towards the end of the race.
In race two, once again Parkes made a great start but was unable to sustain the pace and frustratingly, ended up just outside the points in sixteenth place but was happy to have made progress following on from the disappointment of Phillip Island two weeks ago.
Sadly for Japanese team-mate Makoto Tamada, once again he struggled in qualifying, securing 22nd place on the grid, but worse was to follow when he crashed in morning warm up which necessitated a hospital check up whereby he was diagnosed as having sustained heavy bruising to his hip and pelvic area with a suspected dislocation, broken thumb and left big toe and was declared not fit to race. He is hoping to be ready for the Valencia test in two weeks time.
Broc Parkes: "The weekend has been quite successful for the team as we qualified well and on quite a few occasions we were in the top ten. In race one I had a good start and I was in a couple of battles with a few guys until I ran out of grip towards the end of the race. I was really trying to keep the bikes in thirteenth and fourteenth to get some points on the board after Phillip Island. Although I missed out on points in race two we were seven or eight seconds faster than in race one. I'm getting more confident on the bike and feel that we are getting closer to running in the top fifteen more consistently. This weekend we've taken a lot of information away with us so we can regroup in Europe and look forward to the race in Valencia."
Makoto Tamada: "I had some rear grip issues from the beginning of the weekend and also some problems with my race set-up but it was a big surprise to me to crash in the morning practice. I am not sure exactly how it happened but I had a big highside at turn five and suffered quite a few injuries which made it impossible for me to race. I am obviously very disappointed for myself and for the team to not have races but I should be ok for the Valencia race."
Paul Risbridger, Team Manager: "It's been an encouraging weekend where we have shown good pace during qualifying and managed to use qualifying tyres in the new Superpole to good effect. Our race pace has improved a lot since Phillip Island and although the results, fourteenth and sixteenth here in Qatar, are not ideal they show that we have made some very good progress with our race set-up and we can only get stronger from here."
Race One - Results1, B Spies (Yamaha) 36m06.304s, 2, N Haga (Ducati) +1.893s, 3, M Biaggi (Aprilia) +2.168s, 4, S Nakano (Aprilia) +12.061s, 5, C Checa (Honda) +12.597s, 6, S Byrne (Ducati) +12.971s, 7, T Sykes (Yamaha) +13.570s, 8, R Kiyonari (Honda) +19.306s, 9, T Corser (BMW) +19.388s, 10, R Laconi (Ducati) +20.981. 14, B Parkes (Kawasaki) +27.218s.
Race Two - Results1, B Spies (Yamaha) 36m02.126s, 2, N Haga (Ducati) +1.274s, 3, M Biaggi (Aprilia) +1.622s, 4, R Kiyonari (Honda) +1.845s, 5, T Sykes (Yamaha) +5.117s, 6, M Neukirchner (Suzuki) +9.512s, 7, S Nakano (Aprilia) +9.514s, 8, J Rea (Honda) +12.621s, 9, T Corser (BMW) +13.842s, 10, R Xaus (BMW) +13.884s. 16, B Parkes (Kawasaki) +21.759s.
World Superbike Championship Standings after Round 2
1, Noriyuki Haga (JPN) 85pts2, Ben Spies (USA) 75pts3, Max Neukirchner (GER) 40pts4, Max Biaggi (ITA) 38pts5, Leon Haslam (GBR) 36pts6, Tom Sykes (GBR) 32pts7, Regis Laconi (FRA) 30pts8, Jonathan Rea (GBR) 30pts9, Shinya Nakano (JPN) 27pts10, Yukio Kagayama (JPN) 25pts20, Broc Parkes (AUS) 2pts