News 13 Sep 2011

In Profile: Broc Parkes

Provec Kawasaki profiles their Aussie World Supersport contender.

For Broc Parkes life has changed a lot in the past couple of years. Marriage, fatherhood and moving back into World Supersport with the Provec Kawasaki team have all been happy occurrences.

So far the big prize of the world championship has eluded Broc but he has been WSS runner-up twice, has six race wins to his name, plus a whopping 27 podiums – and counting. He has posted three podiums for Kawasaki in 2011, including a win at the San Marino round.

When Broc was snapped up towards the end of the 2010 season by the Provec Kawasaki team, he was on the podium straight away. A star was reborn.

An appropriate analogy in some ways, as his upturn in WSS fortunes came after Broc and his wife Courtney had already their first child Jesse John, in 2009.

With one young child and another coming soon, family life in the tiny European principality of Andorra is the focus for Broc now when he’s away from the racetrack.

Broc Parkes is Australia's leading contender in World Supersport for Kawasaki.

Broc Parkes is Australia's leading contender in World Supersport for Kawasaki.

“Life changed a lot when the little fella came along,” Parkes said. “We were a little bit living two lives before then – one in Australia and one in Andorra. We would always go back to Australia when we had the chance.

“All that we have here now has changed our lifestyle quite a bit, but in a good way. We also have another little one coming along in January, so we have to prepare ourselves to be ready for that as well, so this off season we won’t even go back to Australia, we will just stay over here for the whole winter.

“That is quite a big difference from before. I am chasing my dream so we need to be here, and we could not live in both places. We have been lucky enough to be in Europe and have a look around Europe as well as race here.

“We said, ‘let’s enjoy it while we can, because we can.’ I hope to be here racing for a few years yet but I always see myself moving back to Australia to the end of my career. At the moment we are happy here in Andorra.”

And there is no better base, thinks Parkes, for someone in his position than Andorra.

“I needed a base in Europe and when I came up to Andorra I did not want to leave,” he continued. “The mountains are huge, the lifestyle is very relaxed and when you go there you can just kind of switch off.

“It is like it’s own little world, to be honest. It’s a great base to keep fit and train hard. And if it gets too cold in the winter we can go to Barcelona on the coast to heat up!”

With his Kawasaki team based only a couple of hours away in Barcelona, getting the call-up to make a world championship assault has been a positive step of important measure for Broc, who is fully aware of how much his Kawasaki ride in WSS means for him.

“Last year when I got the phone call from the team, and the opportunity came up, it was the whole package,” he added. “Everything has been absolutely perfect. We haven’t won the world championship yet, but it is our first year and it was not going to be easy.

“We have had a race win and been fighting for others. The way the team work with me and their understanding of my situation, being a father now, has been very helpful. When I am racing or testing I do almost all the races on my own, just staying with the team.

“Then I come home and have my own time, when I can train and prepare for the next one. I have everything to help me in Andorra now. I have my own doctor for my diet, I have people helping me in my training, a physio and I am happy with that side of things.”

Parkes has taken up cycling, shown here with fellow Aussie Chris Vermeulen.

Parkes has taken up cycling, shown here with fellow Aussie Chris Vermeulen.

And as the photos from Andorra show, Parkes has a new passion that fits well in his regime of fitness – road cycling.

“I only started cycling last year to recover from a broken leg,” Parkes explained. “I always did running before that and I only started cycling to get the strength back. Now it is like an addiction – once you start cycling you just can’t stop!

“Last year and this year I have been into it a lot. It is perfect for it in Andorra because you have all the mountains and good weather most of the time. I’m actually just back from a bike ride now!”