Australia’s sole representative on this year’s world MotoGP championship grid, Broc Parkes, admits he has a lot to learn after his first ride aboard his new bike.
The 32-year-old completed 40 laps on the opening day of testing in hot and dry conditions at Malaysia’s notoriously tricky Sepang Circuit on Tuesday.
Parkes finished 24th fastest in a field of 26.
While he sat more than 5.5 seconds off the lead pace set by world champion Marc Marquez, he did outperform his experienced Paul Bird Motorsport teammate Michael Laverty by 0.181 seconds.
“First day on bike today and had a lot to learn,” Parkes tweeted.
“New track, new tyres and carbon brakes. Looking forward to tomorrow.”
New South Welshman Parkes signed with PBM in December and will ride the team’s in-house machinery equipped with Aprilia engines in the 2014 championship.
His debut in the MotoGP premier class comes 15 years after his one-off wildcard outing in the 125cc category at the 1999 Australian Grand Prix.
With countryman and former full-time competitor Bryan Staring dropped by Gresini Honda late last year, Parkes will be the only Australian racing on the grid when the season proper begins in Qatar on March 23.
Testing at Sepang wraps up on Thursday, but riders will return for another three-day session from February 26.
Two more tests are scheduled at Australia’s Phillip Island in March and at the Losail circuit in Qatar.