After more than two decades in road racing, Broc Parkes has decided to quit full-time competition to focus on family.
Last December, Parkes signed with YRT to race in this year’s mi-bike motorcycle insurance Australian Superbike Championship, joining incumbent riders Cru Halliday and Aiden Wagner, but has now decided he’ll relinquish that ride - and racing entirely.
The surprise announcement, presented in the form of an open letter by Parkes on 19 February, details how the experienced campaigner in World Supersport, World Superbike, British Superbike, MotoGP, World Endurance and Asian Road Racing competition could no longer accommodate the demands of the sport with the demands of raising his children.
“I returned to Australia permanently to spend more time and to start to live a ‘normal’ life with my children,” Parkes’s letter stated. “They have spent their entire life either following me around or waiting on my race commitments, but I feel now is the right time that I make my family my priority and be a part of their everyday lives.”
The open letter continues: “Recent time away testing again showed me than I can no longer care for my children and race, giving each the time, dedication and commitment they all deserve. It is time for me to put their wants and needs first and honour my commitment as their dad.
“Commitment, age and finances just may have caught up with me. Due to the numerous difficulties everybody suffered during Covid, the personal sponsors I had hoped to procure are no longer viable. Combine that with my want and need to spend time with my family and at home, now is the right time to step back from racing.”
While Parkes has finished racing, the 39-year-old won’t leave the sport entirely, staying on in a testing and mentoring role with YRT/YRD for this year at least.
“With 23 years of road racing experience, I’m excited to pass on as much as I can and will be at selected events and test days this year to work with not just the YRT riders and bikes but also any Yamaha rider in the ASBK paddock – from OJC to Superbikes.”