Broc Parkes has decided to hang up his leathers. One of few Australians present on the international stage, the 39-year old has confirmed that he will no longer compete professionally. Despite having a signed contract with Yamaha and the fact that the ASBK championship is soon to start, the former 125, MotoGP, Supersport, SBK and Endurance rider has chosen a new career path.
In a message shared with the media, the former Parmalat pupil outlines what his future holds: “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. With 23 years of road racing experience, I’m excited to pass on as much as I can.”
The decision has come as a shock, but Broc himself admits: "I understand that this is a late stage to be making this decision as the ASBK season approaches but it literally only came to me in recent days as I have thought about my future. 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. But I thank all those that have supported me over my career”.
The life of a rider is very different and Parkes confirms: "I returned to Australia permanently to spend more time and to start to live a ‘normal’ life with my children. It is time for me to put their wants and needs first and honour my commitment as their dad”.
Parmalat pupil and two-time World Supersport runner-up
When he came to Europe, backed by Wayne Gardner, Parkes would hide his face beneath the wide visor of a Parmalat-branded cap, the brand’s logo standing out on the fairings of his Ducati NCR. His colleagues’ comments ranged from "Wow" to "This Australian is sitting pretty".
More or less. In the sense that the Italian company later collapsed, but the rider sure didn’t. Quite the opposite in fact… During a career spanning 23 years, Broc completed seasons in MotoGP, SBK and Supersport. He did particularly well in the 600 class, winning six races and finishing second overall in 2004 and 2007, seasons that saw him riding for Honda and Yamaha.
In 2017, Broc returned to MotoGP. He’d been there before, but only riding models in the CRT sub-category. That’s not entirely true though, as he did have the chance to ride Jonas Folger’s Yamaha M1, a true prototype, a few years ago. He wasn’t happy with his twenty-second place finish in the race, but the home crowd cheered him on regardless.
Translated by Heather Watson