Only a couple of months after it was announced that Broc Parkes would spearhead Yamaha Racing Team’s assault on the 2021 Australian Superbike Championship, the 39-year-old has unexpectedly pulled the pin on his riding career.
Parkes has a CV that includes a massive amount of experience gained in MotoGP, World Superbike, World Supersport, FIM World Endurance, British Superbike and the Asian Road Racing Championships.
Broc finished runner-up twice in the World Supersport Championship and raced World Endurance for almost a decade, including seven years with the high-profile YART squad. Before heading to Europe Parkes won both the Australia n125 Grand Prix and 250 Production Championships.
Those credentials might not help him secure a job in the mining industry that he hopes to join later in the year but a solid background in the building industry gained before he went overseas to race, along with a sound mechanical knowledge and a proven track record of working well in a team environment, will make Broc a valuable prospect to an employer.
In the meantime Parkes will help YRT test and refine new developments on the ASBK YZF-R1M machines while also acting in a coaching role. YRT will field Cru Halliday and Aiden Wagner in ASBK Superbike for season 2021.
It is with deep regret and sincerest apologies that I find myself writing this letter. After careful consideration and much deliberation, I have come to the decision that I cannot commit to riding/racing this year and will step back from my racing commitments with YRT.
I returned to Australia permanently to spend more time and to start to live a ‘normal’ life with my children. They have spent their entire life either following me around or waiting on my race commitments, but I feel now is the right time that I make my family my priority and be a part of their everyday lives. Recent time away testing again showed me than I can no longer care for my children and race, giving each the time, dedication and commitment they all deserve. It is time for me to put their wants and needs first and honour my commitment as their dad.
Commitment, age and finances just may have caught up with me. Due to the numerous difficulties everybody suffered during Covid, the personal sponsors I had hoped to procure are no longer viable. Combine that with my want and need to spend time with my family and at home, now is the right time to step back from racing.
I am very grateful for the faith Yamaha had in myself and the years I have worked with not just YRT, but Yamaha on a global scale. Yamaha invested in my ability and increased my knowledge and continued to offer me the very best of opportunities that allowed me to race at the highest levels around the world.
While this might be my retirement from racing, it isn’t me stepping away from the sport that I loved and has given me so much. I will continue to work with Yamaha Australia and YRT/ YRD in a testing and mentoring role throughout the 2021 season. With 23 years of road racing experience, I’m excited to pass on as much as I can and will be at selected events and test days this year to work with not just the YRT riders and bikes but also any Yamaha rider in the ASBK paddock – from OJC to Superbikes.
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