Australian Broc Parkes made the most of the mixed weather conditions when he scored a career best 11th place finish at round eight of the 2014 MotoGP World Championship in Holland to record his second points scoring finish of the season at the Iveco Daily TT Assen.
With changeable weather throughout the meeting at the Dutch track, Parkes showed good pace in the Free Practice sessions aboard the Rapid Solicitors and Silkolene-backed PBM machine before claiming a row seven start on the grid in 21st place.
With a rain shower arriving just before the race was due to get underway, Parkes encountered a problem on the warm up lap and was forced to start from pit lane but was soon getting to grips with the difficult conditions and by lap seven of the 26 lapper, he was up to 15th place.
As the race entered the crucial stage with riders calling into pit lane to change bikes, Parkes found himself as high as sixth place where he maintained station for a number of laps. As the Factory bikes upped their pace, the double World Supersport runner-up slipped down the order but crossed the line in an impressive 11th place ahead of Scott Redding and Jorge Lorenzo to claim five valuable World Championship points for the Penrith-based team.
For team-mate Michael Laverty, it wasn't such a successful race after qualifying the Rapid Solicitors and Silkolene-backed Aprilia ART-powered PBM in 19th having also shown good pace in Free Practice.
The Ulsterman was confident of a good result but lost out in the pit stops when he was forced to pit once again meaning any hopes of a good result were scuppered and he eventually crossed the line in a disappointing 21st position as he still searches for his first points of the season despite a 100% finishing record.
Parkes' result has elevated himself to 20th overall in the 2014 MotoGP World Championship table, eighth in the Open class standings and third in Rookie of the Year. Despite his string of finishes, Laverty has yet to register on the scoreboard but importantly for the PBM team, they occupy fifth place in the manufacturer's table and 11th in the team's standings.
Michael Laverty: "Firstly I want to congratulate Broc on a great ride, I am happy that one of us managed to fulfil the potential we had this weekend but incredibly frustrated that I wasn't up there with him. The race couldn't have gone worse for me, I felt I made the correct call to pit for slicks early but unfortunately my bike wasn't ready. I left the pits to join Broc on track but the fact that I had to pit again meant my race was ruined. I had good pace this weekend and would have easily scored a decent haul of points in the tricky conditions."
Broc Parkes: "What a crazy race, I crashed on the warm up lap when somebody clipped my handlebar at the hairpin so I got back to the pits for my spare bike with slick tyres and had to start from pit lane. At the start it was still raining and I was even going to pull in because I was really slow but then the track dried fast and I was pushing like crazy on the slick tyres in the wet corners as I could see I was catching everyone. Even when I changed to the other bike my pace was still good. I would really like to thank the team for all their hard work."
Picture courtesy of Gold & Goose