PBM Kawasaki PR:
The best qualifying sessions of the year for the official Ninja ZX-10R riders put Broc Parkes seventh and Jamie Hacking eighth for Sunday’s 21-lap World Superbike races.
This is the first time that Parkes has made it through to Superpole Three, but in doing so he guaranteed that he would have a first or second row starting position.
The Kawasaki World Superbike Racing Team’s joy was redoubled when local rider Hacking, competing in place of the injured Makoto Tamada, slotted in just one place behind Parkes, displacing many more experienced WSB regulars in the process.
Parkes has improved his level of fitness since the previous round, but is still not quite 100% back to normal, making his pre-race performances all the more worthy of recognition. Unlike many of his regular WSB rivals, he had never ridden at Miller before first practice on Friday afternoon, but was fast and adept from the very start.
Hacking has a greater level of experience of the 4.907km Miller Motorsports Park than his new team-mate, but as he races a 600cc machine this season in the AMA series his immediate promotion into the upper echelons of WSB qualifying is a singularly impressive achievement. He even headed the entire field after Superpole One.
The strong pre-race results are a boost for all in the Kawasaki World Superbike Racing Team members, but their immediate attentions now turn to the races on Sunday, and the possibility of a return of the rain which arrived late today. Impressive lighting strikes all around the circuit were the backdrop to most of Superpole, and very light rain was evident on the riders’ visors towards the end, although the track surface proved to be largely dry.
Broc Parkes: “That’s the best qualifying this year. This is my first time here and straight out of the box we were quite fast. The bike works well, but we haven’t got a perfect race set-up yet. I think we can work around that for tomorrow. I’m really happy for the team because we are going forward. I’m also starting to get my fitness back again because it’s been two weeks since Kyalami. Jamie has a lot of local knowledge and that has brought quite a lot into the team. That’s been really good. The track is lots of fun, big, open and flowing, and that’s what I like. It reminds me a lot of Qatar.”
Jamie Hacking: “To have gone all the way through every Superpole session, with a total of just over three hours on this bike, I’m pleased. We have a good, really good, race set-up on the bike, got the race tyres picked and I am real happy with it. Obviously I would have liked to have improved more but with the conditions we had out there, it wasn’t worth risking crashing a bike and having to start all over. None of the corners were wet, but you could see the water on the visor and feel it on your neck, you knew it was not truly dry. We had a very good shot at the front two rows there, and it should be a good race. I’m really looking forward to it. ”