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Apr 14, 2014 - 03:18 PM
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Laverty Denied A Point - Again
Posted by: newsla on Apr 14, 2014 - 03:18 PM
MotoGP
Laverty Denied A Point - Again


The second round of the 2014 MotoGP World Championship took place with the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) at Austin this weekend and for the second round in succession PBM rider Michael Laverty just missed out on a point when he finished a determined 16th.

 

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However, unlike Qatar, the attrition rate was low and the Ulsterman was battling aboard the Rapid Solicitors and Silkolene-backed PBM machine with a number of Open class rivals meaning he was on the verge of the points in the latter stages of the race.

Indeed, on the very last lap, he edged ahead of the Avintia of Hector Barbera into the last points scoring place but the Spaniard pipped the former British Supersport champion to the line, thus denying Laverty his first points of the season by just 0.167 seconds after 21 laps of the Texas track.

PBM team-mate Broc Parkes was hoping to add to the brilliant point he scored for 15th in Qatar on his Grand Prix debut and was confident having qualified half a second behind Laverty on row seven of the grid for the Penrith based team.

Despite a great start, it soon became apparent that all was not well for the Australian who dropped down the order and after eight laps of struggling with a front end problem on the machine, he called into pit lane to retire the Aprilia ART-powered PBM.

The results mean that Parkes occupies 20th overall in the 2014 MotoGP World Championship table, ninth in the Open class standings and third in Rookie of the Year. With a pair of 16th place finishes, Laverty has yet to register on the scoreboard but importantly for the PBM team, they occupy seventh place in the manufacturer's table and 13th in the team's standings going into the next race in Argentina in two weeks' time.

Michael Laverty: "I'm satisfied with how I rode but quite frustrated to lose out on the final point scoring position on the final lap. I had a few small issues that hindered my progress but I pushed hard and caught back up to Barbera and Abraham mid race. I got into 16th place with around three laps to go but by then I had very little grip left and could do little to break Barbera. He put in a strong final lap and I couldn't find a way back through. We had a good weekend steadily making chassis improvements in every session, the COTA circuit is more suited to our rivals' power characteristics than that of our Aprilia engine so I feel we have done a good job overall considering."

Broc Parkes: "Like a number of other riders as it transpired, I had no front grip and a lot of chatter from the front to the point that I could not ride it so it was either continue and risk a crash or reluctantly pull in so I chose the latter. It proved a wise decision as other riders continued and crashed. There were a couple of other minor things going on but I hope the boys get to the bottom of it. I was really upset to retire as I hate doing that."

Phil Borley, Technical Director: "It has been a mixed weekend for PBM at COTA. Michael had a good qualifying and race but unfortunately just missed out on a point scoring finish. Broc's first visit to COTA had gone well until the race when he felt some problems which resulted in his retirement. We will study the data to understand some of the issues the riders have experienced this weekend and also why the improvement in overall race time was not as big as we were hoping for."

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