News 25 Feb 2012

Parkes leads Aussie contingent with Phillip Island WSS pole

Australia's Broc Parkes set pole position in WSS at Phillip Island.

Australia's Broc Parkes set pole position in WSS at Phillip Island.

It was roller coaster day for the six-rider contingent of locals at the Australian round of the 2012 World Superbike Championship, with World Supersport rider Broc Parkes hitting the highs at Phillip Island.

Parkes overcame an injury scare in the morning session to be fastest in the afternoon qualifying session and claim pole position, moving a step closer to his maiden win on home soil.

Clearly the fastest man on the track on Friday, Parkes sent a scare through his Ten Kate Honda team when he returned to the pits late in the morning practice session with what appeared to be a back aliment.

However the Newcastle native was given the all-clear for the final qualifying session and looked more than comfortable as he took top billing for Sunday’s race.

As the mercury moved beyond 40 degrees trackside it was the young guns who showed their class, with Western Australian Bryan Staring and Victorian Jed Metcher providing the highlights.

In as an injury replacement rider for the World Superbike class Staring was unlucky not to qualify for Superpole, missing out by just two positions after ranking 18th fastest in combined qualifying.

The Team Pedercini Kawasaki star was not the only Aussie impressing on the world stage, with RivaMoto Yamaha rookie Jed Metcher showing his new team what sort of talent they have signed.

The 2011 European Superstock 600 Champion was 11th fastest in the final practice session before settling for 17th on the starting grid.

Wildcard hopeful David Johnson endured a day to forget as he engine failed while out on track, leaving the Rossair AEP BMW team searching for a replacement.

It was equally as frustrating for Crescent Fixi Suzuki’s Josh Brookes and Grillini BMW rider Mark Aitchison, both were unable to find the consistency they needed to crack the top 20.

Brookes will start from 22nd on the grid one spot ahead of Aitchison in 23rd, with Johnson 25th position.