News 3 Aug 2011

Parkes joins Kawasaki WSBK team for Brands Hatch BSB round

World Supersport regular returns to Superbikes for BSB wild card.

Australian Broc Parkes will ride for the Kawasaki WSBK team at Brands Hatch this weekend.

Australian Broc Parkes will ride for the Kawasaki WSBK team at Brands Hatch this weekend.

The MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship returns to the legendary Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit this weekend for a triple-header race event as the battle for the crown intensifies with the added pressure of wildcard entries from the Kawasaki World Superbike Championship team.

Local hero Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne leads the title race for HM Plant Honda but the former double champion knows that he will come under increased pressure at the Kent circuit as his rivals line up to steal the advantage.

He will also face the extra challenge from his world championship rivals as the experienced Kawasaki World Superbike pairing of Broc Parkes and Joan Lascorz are preparing to fight for victories after the team scored a winning double last year.

Australia’s Parkes will stand in for Tom Sykes on the Kawasaki Superbike, excited for his wild card appearance on the ZX-10R.

“I am pumped about racing this weekend with the Kawasaki team and it will be great working with all of the crew again,” Parkes said.

“I haven’t ridden a Superbike for a while where I have been racing in the World Supersport Championship so I need to adapt again quickly but the Kawasaki has seen some big improvements since I last rode it so I am looking forward to it.

“The depth of field in BSB has definitely increased and it is going to be tougher than before I think – you can see how strong the competition is from what John Hopkins did last weekend as a wild card at Silverstone.

“It is a great opportunity for me to race again at Brands Hatch and I need to thank Paul Bird and everyone at Kawasaki.”

American John Hopkins missed out on victory at the last round at Oulton Park but the Samsung Crescent Racing Suzuki rider is determined to win a maiden BSB crown this season.

He returns to Brands Hatch following the World Superbike Championship round last weekend and he races in BSB ahead of a wildcard appearance at the MotoGP round at Brno the following weekend.

“I love the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit and I was fortunate enough to do some laps there last week as before that I had only ridden the MotoGP Suzuki around for some demonstration laps back in 2006,” Hopkins said.

“Brands Hatch is so important to the championship, with the round being three races and then the final round which will be the title decider also on the Grand Prix circuit later in the year.

“I can definitely see myself going quick there for the race and I am feeling confident that we can get the Samsung Crescent Racing Suzuki back on the podium. I will be doing everything possible to win as always and we want to score as many top three finishes as possible for the championship.

“The standings are closer now after Oulton Park so I will be giving it my all this weekend that’s for sure.”

Swan Yamaha’s Tommy Hill is also sure to be in contention after winning last time out at Oulton Park and the Lingfield rider won’t settle for anything less than victory as he bids to close the points deficit to his leading rivals Byrne and Hopkins.

The main contenders are fighting for a top six place in the overall standings so they can fight for the title in the end of season Showdown, held over the final three rounds to decide the eventual champion.

However there are some big names that are still outside the top six ahead of this weekend and with just 23 points between sixth and tenth place those currently missing the cut including Jon Kirkham, Gary Mason, Peter Hickman and Michael Rutter will need to be pushing hard this weekend.