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Parkes still seeking good 'base set-up'

Broc Parkes is confident he can make better progress on the PBM bike once he has sourced a strong base set-up to build on.
Having raced on new tracks for the first three races of the season Broc Parkes had high hopes of a strong performance at Jerez, where he raced last year in WSBK, however the opening day of practice saw the Australian struggle with handing problems.

Parkes, who scored a point on his Grand Prix debut with PBM, finished the day 2.6s off the pace and the slowest rider.

A setup change prior to FP2 left Parkes struggling with handling woes that were so significant that they led to problems with the electronics, though he did improve to 22nd in FP3.

"I thought that we'd get better after the first morning when we weren't too bad," said Parkes. "We tried a really big change in the afternoon and it changed the bike so much that we had issues with the electronics on the bike, I don't know if it was because of how dramatically we changed the chassis, and I had so many problems with engine braking after that.

"The bike was pushing past corners and I couldn't achieve too much in the session. We tried to change it and fix it but we couldn't figure out why it was so different. We lifted the bike a lot to try and get it to turn in on entry, I've struggled with that in Texas and Argentina, and that seemed to change the electronics quite a bit."

When asked by if he felt that the hotter temperatures in the afternoon could have also played a role in the handling problems Parkes said he was surprised by the problems.

"There was definitely less grip in the afternoon but I don't think that it was that much less grip. I was surprised actually that the Bridgestone's were so good when the temperature was a lot hotter. Compared to WSBK here when the track was a lot dirtier this morning I had a lot of grip. I know that a lot of guys complained about a lack of grip but I didn't have a problem with it.

"The first day wasn't a true indication of where we're at because we had so many problems. We had so many problems that we didn't even try and do a lap time with a fresh tyre. I think that tomorrow will be better but I need to find 1.5s to be in the battle with the CRT guys."

Like many MotoGP rookies Parkes is riding in the early races of his premier class career while trying to find a base setup that he can use at every race weekend.

Instead of being able to turn up in FP1 with a bike that is relatively close to what is needed from a handling perspective Parkes is forced to experiment with various setup changes throughout the weekend and he admits that until he finds a way to do that it will be difficult to make progress.

"We don't have a base setup yet and we're always changing so much to try and find a better bike and I'm losing a lot of time [during the weekend] because we don't really have a good base setup yet. I think that Michael now has a pretty good base, he's kept it similar the last three races, so I need to try and find something better for myself. We've got quite different electronics on both bikes though and the bike behaves differently so it won't always work for both of us."

Tagged as: Parkes , PBM

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