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Mar 18, 2014 - 08:42 PM
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Historic Season Opener For PBM MotoGP Team
Posted by: newsla on Mar 18, 2014 - 08:40 PM
MotoGP
Historic Season Opener For PBM MotoGP Team


Historic Season Opener For PBM MotoGP Team

The opening round of the 2014 MotoGP World Championship gets underway in Qatar this weekend whereby the night race at the Doha track will mark another historic chapter in the increasingly successful Paul Bird Motorsport portfolio.

 

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Having retained Ulsterman Michael Laverty for a second successive season as well as signing the experienced Australian Broc Parkes, the pair will be aboard the team's very own Rapid Solicitors and Silkolene-backed PBM machines to participate within the newly redefined rules which have come into play this season.

The Aprilia ART-powered machines will contest the Open class division and follows on two years of development work whereby the Penrith, Cumbria based team - the only British team in the premier MotoGP class - have perfected their own chassis and other fabrications to their bikes.

Laverty campaigned the machine for much of last season as part of the ongoing development programme, scoring a brilliant13th place at Jerez before the Toome, County Antrim rider rounded out the season with another 13 top 20 placings to end up 25th in the standings.

Those three points he scored in Spain were also the first historic ones for the bespoke PBM machine which resulted in the PBM team claiming eighth in the Constructors Championship and 12th in the Teams Championship in their debut season with their brand new British-built machine.

Both 32-year-old Laverty and Parkes, also 32 and from Hunter Valley, New South Wales, were in action at the recent tests at the Losail track and return hoping for a good showing in the only floodlit race of the season.

Michael Laverty: "I'm looking forward to getting another season off and running under the lights in Qatar this weekend. We had good pre-season tests in Sepang and Qatar so I am looking towards the season with renewed vigour. The Open class bikes have taken quite a step up over the CRTs of last season and we are under no illusions as to how tough it will be to score points, however that remains our goal. Our main rivals will be Avintia Kawasaki and Ioda Aprilia, however we hope that on occasion we will be able to challenge the customer Hondas. I look forward to another season in the PBM stable with a great bunch of guys working towards the same goal."

Broc Parkes: "I'm delighted to be back with the team I raced for in World Superbikes a few years ago and we have a really good relationship which is important. It's going to be tough for sure but I intend to make the most of this opportunity given to be by PBM. To continue the run of Australians racing in MotoGP is fantastic too and I'm really looking forward to going racing this weekend in Qatar."

Paul Bird, Team Owner: "This is another historic chapter in the PBM journey and one which I'm incredibly proud of. When we talked a couple of years ago about building our own MotoGP bike, some people thought we were mad but here we are about to line up on the grid with not one, but two of our bikes built in the Lake District. The team has worked tremendously hard to get to where we are what with the rule changes and after the frustration and disappointment at times last year; hopefully we can achieve the results we know we are capable of. In Michael and Broc I have two riders I rate highly and believe in so it's time to prove our potential now."

Phil Borley, Technical Director: "2014 will be PBM's third year competing in the world's premier motorcycle racing championship, MotoGP, and we are again looking forward to the big challenge of racing against the best riders, machines and teams in the world. With Michael's year of experience and Broc's rapid adaption to GP riding, we have two riders that are able to compete for points and help us continue to develop the PBM bike. Although our overall goals are realistic, our main target is to continue improving and reduce the gap to the top positions. We feel that we have made some progress during the pre-season testing we have completed and are now looking forward to the first race."

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