BSB: Broc Parkes to replace John Hopkins at Snetterton

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Broc Parkes will be drafted in by the ePayMe Yamaha team to replace the injured John Hopkins for next week’s fifth round of the MCE British Superbike Championship at Snetterton.

Hopkins sustained a broken and dislocated right collarbone and broke four ribs when highsiding out of a sodden second race at Knockhill last weekend. In order to recover from the injuries and return as fit as possible, Hopkins, along with team boss Tommy Hill, decided to sit out next week’s Snetterton round.

Parkes is no stranger to the British Superbike Championship having competed for Shaun Muir’s Milwaukee Yamaha team last season. However, after a disappointing first half of the season with the Aussie hampered by arm-pump problems, he sat the rest of the year out.

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The former BSB podium man is also familiar with Yamaha’s YZF-R1, not just after riding it in BSB last year but also in the Endurance World Championship, where he continues to ride for the Yamaha Austria Racing Team.

““I am actually really excited about this opportunity,” said Parkes. “You never want to see another rider out through injury, but it will be great working with Tommy [Hill] as we were team-mates in the World Supersport Championship before.

“I know the Yamaha from last season and also in the World Endurance Championship, so this is a perfect chance to return to BSB. Last year didn’t work out for various reasons, but I am coming back feeling like I have a point to prove. I want to show I can be up there but at the same time I know how tough this championship is and I need to be realistic as the other guys have tested at Snetterton recently and have some rounds already under their belts.

“I have been training really hard ready for when an opportunity like this came along and I want to show that I can be up there and I intend on doing the best job I possibly can for the ePayMe Yamaha team.”

Hopkins added: “We are obviously gutted as a team to see John out through injury as before the crash he had been showing such great form. We had shown glimmers of form in the opening rounds and then at Knockhill everything was coming together and we really knew that we could score the results we know we are capable of and potentially still fight for the top six as it is so unpredictable and changing all the time. We now have to wait for John to see the specialist to work out when he will be able to return.

“As a team we are committed to having two riders on track and it was important to find a rider who already has experience of the Yamaha, the Pirelli tyres and the circuit and Broc has all of this, plus links with Yamaha and also our partner Monster Energy.

“Broc had a tough season last year but he is definitely driven to come back and prove himself within this championship. The team are excited to work with Broc and collectively achieve the best results we can with such short notice.”

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Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

Former sports reporter covering British Superbikes, World Superbikes and road racing