Valencia: Paul Bird Motorsport Sunday notes

TOP TEN FOR PARKES AT VALENCIA In only his third race meeting for the Paul Bird Motorsport team, Broc Parkes claimed a brilliant top ten placing in the opening race of today's Hannspree World Superbike Championship round at Valencia in ...

TOP TEN FOR PARKES AT VALENCIA

In only his third race meeting for the Paul Bird Motorsport team, Broc Parkes claimed a brilliant top ten placing in the opening race of today's Hannspree World Superbike Championship round at Valencia in Spain.

Aboard the www.supercasino.com, Vent Axia and Kick Energy-backed Kawasaki World Superbike Racing Team Ninja ZX-10R, the 27-year-old Australian overcame a high speed crash in practice on Friday to qualify for Superpole 2 and start from row four of the grid and in the opening stages of the first race, ran as high as fifth and with the leading bunch.

Maintaining a good pace, Parkes battled throughout and held a strong tenth place for the final ten laps to claim a great result for the bike which is still being very much developed. Sadly, he couldn't repeat his performance in race two as he struggled with front grip problems and had to fight hard to bring the bike home in 17th position.

There was success also for 32-year-old Japanese Makoto Tamada who claimed his first points of the season in the opening race despite still carrying injuries from a heavy crash in Qatar which left him with a broken toe. Having qualified in a lowly 24th place, Tamada battled to 14th at the flag but like Parkes, was out of luck in race two when a gear selection problem saw him eventually retire at half distance.

Broc Parkes: "I had a pretty big crash on Friday but thankfully I wasn't hurt. On Saturday, the bike performed well during qualifying and I felt we'd made some big steps forward since Phillip Island and Qatar. I am also feeling a lot more comfortable on the bike and I'm finding it easier to ride over a distance which showed in race one. I got a good start and was really happy to be in fifth position at one stage and to battle with the front guys. The bike felt the best it has been all year and it was awesome for the team and I to get in the top ten. Race two was a different story however and I struggled with front grip from the start making it impossible for me to move up any places as there wasn't much I could do. Overall the weekend was a success and I'm really looking forward to Assen."

Makoto Tamada: "I have recovered quite well from my big crash in Qatar but I still have some pain in my left broken big toe. I was sorry to miss the test last week here in Valencia as this put me behind with set up. Starting from sixth row on the grid was difficult to get a good start but I was happy to get some points in race one despite some problems with braking and traction. I was disappointed in race two to not finish as we made some changes to suspension and the settings felt much better for me. But after six or seven laps, I started to experience some gear selection problems. I tried to keep riding but unfortunately I had to pull out of the race."

Paul Risbridger: Team Manager 'I am very pleased with the progress during qualifying and the improvements we've started to see. The bike is more consistent and it's becoming easier for us to put in a good lap time. Race one was particularly positive for us and to finish the race dropping only one second was a sign of our improvements over a race distance. I was pleased for Tamada coming from 24th to 14th and to have both bikes finish in the points and a top ten was a great bonus. The team are feeling positive and we have a good base ready for Assen."

Paul Bird: Team Owner "This is the first race of the season I've been able to attend and I'm pleased with how the team has come together and the progress we've made. We've shown that we're capable now of being in the top ten which is promising for the next few races. It was a shame we couldn't keep in the points in race two but Broc had front grip issues from the word go so he did a good job to bring the bike home. Makoto obviously missed the test and was a bit behind Broc with set up but he is also fitting in to the new team structure well and is gaining more confidence. I was pleased he got some points this weekend. We just have to keep up our momentum and working hard to maintain the progress we've show to date."

The next round of the Hannspree World Superbike Championship takes place on April 25/26th at Assen in the Netherlands.

-credit: pbm

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