POINTS FOR PARKES, MISERY FOR MAKOTO... The Hannspree World Superbike Championship moved to the Imola circuit in Italy for round twelve of the series but any hopes that the Kawasaki Superbike Racing Team had of changing their recent misfortunes...
POINTS FOR PARKES, MISERY FOR MAKOTO...
The Hannspree World Superbike Championship moved to the Imola circuit in Italy for round twelve of the series but any hopes that the Kawasaki Superbike Racing Team had of changing their recent misfortunes around weren't to be after another difficult weekend for the Paul Bird Motorsport team.
Following on from a disastrous weekend in the previous round at Nurburgring, where both Broc Parkes and Makoto Tamada were involved in incidents caused by other riders, the team was hoping for some luck but the omens weren't good when Friday's practice schedule was severely interrupted because of problems with the track surface.
Despite a lack of precious track time, Australian Parkes managed to scrape the www.supercasino.com, Vent-Axia, Kick Energy and Henleys-backed Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R into Superpole 1 to claim 18th on the grid with Japanese rider Tamada just missing out in 21st.
In race one, both riders made poor starts and had work to do but 27-year-old Parkes was soon in the points and riding well but on lap six, disaster struck again for the hapless 32-year-old Tamada when he was punted off again by an errant rider and was briefly knocked unconscious in the resulting fall which also wrecked the machine.
Parkes battled his way to tenth at the flag as Tamada was taken to the medical centre where he was ruled out of the second race because of the head injury meaning once again, the former MotoGP winner had to watch from the sidelines.
Race two saw Parkes make a decent start but a poor opening lap saw him relegated down the order before bouncing back to score a solitary point in fifteenth place to add to his race one tally.
Broc Parkes: "We failed to find a good set-up here at Imola, even at the test we struggled as the circuit doesn't seem to suit our bike. It's a very windy track and we had some difficulty in changing direction which created some problems for us on this track. Qualifying wasn't so good as I had some pretty bad chatter but I was glad to finish both races. I feel desperately sorry for Makoto as once again, he's suffered because of someone else's accidents but I wish him a swift recovery. Now we move onto Magny-Cours next weekend and we need to make some big steps up again so we'll be looking at ways in which we can do that."
Makoto Tamada: "I have once again had terrible bad luck during the weekend which started in qualifying. I was unlucky to miss my fastest lap which would have got me into Superpole and I was taken out midway through race one by an Italian wild card rider on the last chicane which meant I didn't finish any races again. The only lucky thing from this weekend is that I wasn't seriously injured as this was a very big crash and I don't remember a thing. I'm not 100% sure if I will be able to ride at Magny-Cours as I have had several injuries to the head this season so I'm feeling very disheartened and I really hope that I get some luck to finish off the season on a higher note."
Paul Bird, Team Owner: "I wonder when our run of bad luck is going to end and I don't really know what to say. I'm pleased that Broc salvaged some points from the weekend and top ten is now where we're expecting him to be but you have to feel for Makoto as once again, he was the unwitting victim of someone else's error. The good news is he's not badly injured but we'll have to wait and see how he is before next weekend."
The next round of the Hannspree World Superbike Championship takes place at Magny-Cours in France this forthcoming weekend (October 2/4).
Meanwhile, team boss Paul Bird will be hoping he can bring some silverware of his own to the team in the final two rounds of the World Rally Championship.
For the Salou-based Rally de Espagne on October 2/4th and Rally GB which starts in Cardiff some three weeks later, the Cumbrian has been drafted into the official Munchi's Ford World Rally Team alongside Argentine driver Federico Villagra whereby he will drive a works Ford Focus WRC as one of the ten 'A' seeded drivers.