Aussie Broc Parkes has signed off on day two of his MotoGP™ fill-in role at the 2017 Michelin® Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix with a “really good feeling” on the Monster Energy Tech 3 Yamaha YZR-M1.
The 35-year-old from the Hunter Valley qualified in 21st position, with MotoGP™ regulars Alvaro Bautista (Pull & Bear Ducati) and Sam Lowes (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) behind him.
The result has left the Aussie with plenty of optimism ahead of Sunday’s 27-lap MotoGP™ race, which begins at 4:00pm.
“Initially I was taking the wrong lines and wasn’t picking the bike up early enough but I sorted that out,” said Parkes.
“I started to get a really good feeling with the bike at the end of the last practice session. That then continued in qualifying, where I felt that I was able to push ever harder again.
“It’s certainly a good feeling to be ahead of a couple of championship regulars, and I would have been further up if I hadn’t got pipped by Scott Redding at the end.
“But I’m happy because I did my fastest lap by myself without getting a tow from anyone. There’s even more to come in the race with more time on the bike.”
Parkes hasn’t changed much on the Yamaha over the last few days, as he says “there’s more to be gained in me than the bike”.
“We changed a bit with electronics, but that’s about it,” Parkes said. “I don’t really like to change things too much I am within one to 1.5 seconds from the fastest riders.”
Parkes stopped the clock in qualifying at 1m30.889s, and Marc Marquez’ pole-sitting lap on the Repsol Honda was 1:28.386.
Parkes won’t make any bold predictions on how he will fare in the race.
“You never know what can happen at Phillip Island, and if the odd riders have DNFs we could be in for a point. Let’s see what unfolds in the race.
“But to see that I’m going quicker and quicker is a positive, and I’m happy not to be last in qualifying that’s for sure.”
Parkes is filling in for German Jonas Folger, who’s currently in Munich undergoing a series of tests for suspected Epstein Barr disease.