Broc Parkes scored a point on his MotoGP debut after a solid race that saw the Australian stay out of trouble and lap consistently throughout.

In a race that saw many leading riders fall, PBM's Parkes rode cautiously in the early stages as he learned from the riders around him before starting to push harder as the race progressed.

Scoring a point however was a surprise for him, after a pit board mix-up: "I didn't even realise I was 15th because I had P16 on my pitboard!"

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Parkes added: "Off the start I didn't know what to expect so I was a little bit cautious and tried to understand the tyres and the bikes. Then as the race went on I started to pick guys off, one came back past me, but in general it was good to do a race and start to understand the parts that I can fix and give the team some feedback to improve for the next race and hopefully be a bit closer to the front.

"The pace from the top guys was really quick. I had Petrucci and Barbera in the first stage of the race with some of the Production Hondas a little bit in front and I just tried as hard as I could to hang there, but their pace was too good so I need to up my game to stay with them for a bit longer."

Team boss Paul Bird was impressed with the performance.

"It was the first race of the year and we knew that there could be incidents so it was a matter of getting both bikes to finish. I'm chuffed to bits with Broc getting points on his first race and he knows what MotoGP is all about now. He knows how tough it is and it's good for us.

"I'm pleased for the boys because it's been a tough winter and we've been on the back foot a little bit so to get points in the first race is great for the team."

Team-mate Michael Laverty finished in 16th after a jump start penalty.