Broc Parkes says he hopes his extensive experience racing for Yamaha in different championships will help him guide Tommy Hill's ePayMe Yamaha squad with its development of the R1.
The World Endurance title contender has returned to the MCE British Superbike championship until the end of the campaign acting as stand-in after Stuart Easton split with ePayMe Yamaha after Thruxton.
Parkes, who contested the opening half of last season with champions Milwaukee Yamaha, has in-depth knowledge of the new R1 at both sprint and endurance level – with the former MotoGP rider preparing for the World Endurance finale at Oschersleben at the end of the month with YART Yamaha alongside Bradley Smith and Marvin Fritz.
After claiming sixth in race one before fading to 13th in race two due to tyre issues, Parkes says the team was pleasantly surprised by his instant pace despite not competing in a sprint race since last November at the MotoGP finale in Valencia for ART.
“We were surprised with my pace from the off,” Parkes said. “Qualifying in the top four came as a bonus and a top six was a good result which has also given me a good understanding of the bike. The bike is a lot different to what Yamaha had last year and there is not as much support.
“After talking to the team we can improve in some areas and I will be back for Oulton Park to hopefully try out a different engine configuration.”
Parkes is confident his feedback can pave the way for engine development for ePayMe Yamaha before his return to BSB at Oulton Park and become a useful asset to Tommy Hill's team with his experience in extracting the full potential from the R1.
“We are looking for smoother power and power delivery, I think that can improve a fair bit compared to my eight-hour bike from Suzuka,” Parkes said. “The Suzuka bike was pretty special because it was Yamaha-supported so it was a much better spec than I had been riding in endurance.
“To come from that to here I could notice some differences and I think we can make some improvements in the bottom-end torque on this bike.
“I think they'll listen to me because I've been lucky enough to have the different experiences on the R1. It is the first thing I noticed on the bike after coming back from the Suzuka test to Snetterton and the first thing I noticed here at Brands Hatch. During the race it is pretty hard to race because you need the torque off the corners for the straights.”
With the final round of the World Endurance championship clashing with the next round in BSB at Cadwell Park, ePayMe Yamaha will slim down to just John Hopkins before welcoming Parkes back two weeks later at Oulton Park.