Broc Parkes stars for YART at Suzuka 8 Hour
While the Yamaha Factory Racing Team secured the overall victory at the 2016 Suzuka 8 Hour, YART Yamaha Official EWC Team came out fighting and also delivered, keeping the pressure on to the end to secure fourth in the sweltering Suzuka heat.
The YART Yamaha Official EWC Teams Broc Parkes was the chosen man to take the first hour as the most experienced rider on the team. The Australian was quick to take off from his seventh place start position, moving up to fifth with no trouble. A flurry of activity saw him drop to seventh before handing the reins over to teammate Kohta Nozane.
The young Japanese rider proved an inspiration, holding his own in this and a further two, one-hour stints to keep the YART Yamaha not just in the top seven, but climbing to sixth before handing the bike over to teammate Takuya Fujita. The third rider didn’t let the team down, keeping up a decent pace before switching back over to Parkes and Nozane to share the rest of the race between them. The two proved an inspiring combination, battling hard to reach fourth place and holding it to the line.
As the top finishing regular World Endurance Team the fourth place at Suzuka promotes YART up to joint second place in the Endurance World Championship standings with a total of 60 points, eight-points adrift from Endurance World Championship leaders Moto Motors Suzuki, a member of which is Taree’s Alex Cudlin, the championship leaders finished Suzuka in 19th position after suffering a stop-go penalty and some issues during the race.
Broc Parkes will complete season 2016 in British Superbike alongside his World Endurance appearances with YART.
Mandy Kainz – YART Yamaha Official EWC Team Manager
“Our result today was fourth, but to us it feels like a win. The team worked really well. Especially Broc, who put on an absolutely amazing performance. His riding was perfect. I think our two young Japanese riders both gained a lot of experience from this weekend. In any case, our race today was perfect! We want to come here again and put on another flawless performance like we did today.”
Broc Parkes – YART Yamaha Official EWC Team
“Honestly we did not expect the result that we got. Kohta really stepped up today and we couldn’t have hoped for a better result because we couldn’t have done better than that. The top three were quite a bit further away so fourth was the ideal spot today. I had to do quite a bit of work, I rode half the race, but I felt like I needed to do it so I could finish in the dark and keep the gap because it was so close between fourth and seventh and we could easily have slipped back. It’s good for the championship points; it’s really close at the top so coming to Oschersleben things could be interesting. It’s a track I like well and the bike works well there so we can have a go at the championship title.”
Kouta Nozane – YART Yamaha Official EWC Team
“I’m really happy with our 4th place, but I’m also very tired. I took over after Brocs starting stint, and then my second stint was pretty good. But after that, Broc took over from me and I ended up riding after Broc again. My pace was all over the place by that point. I wasn’t able to concentrate while riding and Im really frustrated about that. However, this was my first-ever 8 Hours so it was a great experience and I learned a lot. I found some things that I need to improve in my racing going forward. Really though, our fourth place was thanks to Broc, so I’m grateful to him and the team for this wonderful experience.”
Takuya Fujita – YART Yamaha Official EWC Team
“I only rode one stint in the race, and deep down I really wanted to ride more, but I had to stick to the team’s plan. But the fact is that I did ride in the race and that contributed to our top-ten finish today. I’m really grateful to have been included as a member of the YART Yamaha Official EWC Team this year, and the entire process, including all the pre-event testing, has been a great learning opportunity for me. I’d like to use the experience I’ve gained here in my racing and show everybody how much I’ve grown as a rider.”
Suzuka 8 Hour 2016 Results
- #21 Yamaha Factory Racing Nakasuga/Espargaro/Lowes 218 laps
- #87 Team Green Yanagawa/Haslam/Watanabe +2m 17.883s
- #12 Yoshimura Suzuki Tsuda/Brookes/Haga +1 lap
- #7 YART Yamaha EWC Team Parkes/Nozane/Fujita +4 laps
- #32 Moto Map Suzuki Waters/Aoki/Konno +4 laps
- #17 Kagayama Suzuki Kagayama/Uramoto/Kiyonari +5 laps
- #01 Eva RT Kawasaki Deguchi/Izutsu/Nigon +5 laps
- #22 SatuHati Honda Team Asia Pratama/Wilairot/Zaidi +6 laps
- #18 Mistresa ATS Honda Nakatsuhara/Kobayashi/Sekiguchi +6 lapa
- #090 Teluru RT Honda Akiyoshi/Cudlin/Ohkubo +6 laps
Images by Yamaha Austria Racing Team