Doohan: 100 percent focus from Parkes in Qatar
Motorcycling legend Mick Doohan says Australian debutant Broc Parkes needs to maintain 100 percent commitment at the opening MotoGP round in Qatar.
Parkes will be legged aboard first year British CRT team, Paul Bird Motorsport, that is developing its own chassis with the only Aprilia engined bikes in the MotoGP field.
“The (factory) teams all know what machinery Broc is on – so if he is doing an outstanding job on the machinery he is given, then that’s when people will recognise him and give him an opportunity,” Doohan told Speedcafe.com
“Broc is a very confident racer, the big thing for him is to try and remain as positive as he possibly can and try and get the best result.
“He has to keep motivated and not get too down on himself if he feels as though he hasn’t got the machinery to go out there and compete – he needs to keep putting in week in and week out.”
The step up to MotoGP is a big leap for Parkes who had been domiciled in World Superbike and World Supersport competition.
He came to the attention of PBM last year after finishing eighth at the Suzuka 8 hour.
“I’ve never had a lot of opportunity in the Grand Prix paddock before, it has always been about taking a lot of money, but not necessarily getting the best bike from (the money you bring),” Parkes said.
Parkes, who grew up in Cessnock in the Hunter Valley, will team up with a vastly experienced Australian engineer in Tom Larsen.
While it is Larsen’s first season in MotoGP, he’s been around the Superbike scene for many years having been the engineer for Troy Corser during his time at BMW and had experience with Aprilia from the British Superbike Series in 2012.
Following the first MotoGP tests in Sepang, Parkes feels confident in the direction PBM will be taking.
“It was tiny footsteps every step of the way for me – learning the tyres, the electronics, the brakes, the riding style – everything was different.
“With the chassis being built by the team and being my first time on it, initially, I was concerned about where it might be, but it was really good – it was nice and nimble. We were where I thought we’d be – probably a bit better than I thought truth be known,” he reflected.
“We’re only a really small team. I have asked Paul for more support on the electronics side, which he was quite happy to look into.”