PARKES AND TAMADA SAVE THE BEST FOR LAST...! In their final rides for the Kawasaki Superbike Racing Team, Broc Parkes and Makoto Tamada posted their best cumulative score of any race meeting this season together when they contested the final...
PARKES AND TAMADA SAVE THE BEST FOR LAST...!
In their final rides for the Kawasaki Superbike Racing Team, Broc Parkes and Makoto Tamada posted their best cumulative score of any race meeting this season together when they contested the final round of the Hannspree World Superbike Championship at Portimao in Portugal today.
Following on from a contrasting qualifying session, which saw 32 year old Japanese Tamada claim 15th on the grid, three places ahead of disappointed 27 year old Aussie Parkes, the pair were hoping for a decent showing on their final outing for the Paul Bird Motorsport Team-run www.supercasino.com, Vent-Axia, Kick Energy and Henleys-backed Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10Rs.
In race one, the pair battled hard and helped by a high attrition rate, Parkes crossed the line in 11th place, one place ahead of his team-mate after 22 laps of the tortuous 4.5km Algarve track, despite tyre problems as the race progressed.
Race two saw both riders in green make disastrous starts but with refreshing tenacity, Parkes clawed his way up to 12th at the flag with Tamada missing out on a point by finishing in 16th place.
Whereas in Miller, stand-in rider Jamie Hacking combined with Parkes to score 14 points from the two races but the tally of 13 points from a single race weekend at Portimao marked the best performance of the two regular riders, Parkes and Tamada.
After a difficult debut season, Parkes ended up 18th in the series with a total of 51 points, scoring in 15 of the 28 races whereas Tamada's season was blighted by injury, him finishing 27th in the standings with just 12 points from three points scoring rides.
Parkes' best result was a hat trick of tenth places (Valencia, Monza and Imola) with Tamada's best result also being tenth in Brno. Hacking's seventh place finish at his home round in Miller was the team's best result of the season and Kawasaki's best result since Regis Laconi's sixth place finish in 2007 at Lausitzring. Kawasaki's final placing in the Manufacturers' standings was 7th with 72 points.
Broc Parkes: "In the first race we didn't have much grip from the start so I couldn't do much to push into the top ten but I had some good battles and was happy enough to finish in eleventh with some solid points. In the second race I felt the bike was better and we had more grip with more consistent lap times but the best I could do was twelfth. I felt that we've hit a bit of a wall towards the end of the season as we've had a couple of hard races but I feel the bike will get better and better with testing. Obviously I'm disappointed that I can't help with the development but I'd like to thank the team for their hard work and I've enjoyed the challenge of 2009 and I hope I can remain in this paddock for 2010."
Makoto Tamada: "I didn't have very good starts today so it made it a little more difficult to make passes and move ahead but I was genuinely happy that I could finish both races which is the first time this year aside from Phillip Island. The bike feeling was better in the second race than the first but I had a very bad start and had to move from last place to 16th and this was the best I could do. It has been a very difficult year for me with injuries and bad luck but the team have done a great job and I hope they continue to progress. As for my future I am still looking but I hope to remain in this paddock for next year."
Paul Risbridger, Team Manager: "It's a positive end of season for the team and it was good to see the bike working well at this circuit and although our qualifying could have been better we still managed good race pace and both riders finishing in the points was a bonus. To the team's credit we had consistent and reliable bikes this weekend but two, top ten finishes would have been great. Our thoughts now move to 2010 and our winter testing programme, we're looking forward to further development with the ZX-10R and the challenges ahead. Finally I'd like to thank both Broc and Makoto for their commitment this year and wish them the very best of luck for their future plans."