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May 05, 2014 - 06:20 AM
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Points Frustration For Laverty And Parkes
Posted by: newsla on May 05, 2014 - 06:17 AM
Points Frustration For Laverty And Parkes

In front of a huge crowd of more than 115,000 fans at Jerez for the Gran Premio bwin de EspaƱa, PBM riders Michael Laverty and Broc Parkes fell painfully short of adding to the Cumbrian team's points tally when they finished in 16th and 17th place respectively.


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Round four of the 2014 MotoGP World Championship headed for the first of the European rounds with the team in confident mood although qualifying didn't quite go to plan with Ulsterman Laverty managing 20th on row seven of the grid leaving Australian Parkes a row further back in 22nd.

With temperatures soaring, the Rapid Solicitors and Silkolene-backed PBM duo were confident of a good result but neither rider made great starts meaning they had their work cut out over the next 27 laps.

Laverty aboard the Rapid Solicitors and Silkolene-backed Aprilia ART-powered PBM soon started to climb the order and battle with a number of other Open class machines before Parkes aboard the PBM machine started to improve his placing.

Soon, the pair were circulating in 17th and 18th place as they homed in on the points and held station until the latter stages when, on the very last lap, they elevated themselves a place but frustratingly, they fell short of adding to the point that Parkes scored in the opening round in Qatar.

It was the third time in four races this season that former British Supersport champion Laverty had finished in 16th place and apart from a technical problem in Austin, Parkes has finished every race also.

With seven finishes out of the eight races completed so far and knocking on the door of the points at all four meetings, the PBM team is making significant development progress which will continue into the next round of the season at Le Mans in France in two weeks time.

The results mean that Parkes holds 21st overall in the 2014 MotoGP World Championship table, ninth in the Open class standings and third in Rookie of the Year. With a hat-trick of 16th place finishes and an 18th also, Laverty has yet to register on the scoreboard but importantly for the PBM team, they occupy seventh place in the manufacturers' table and 13th in the teams' standings going into the next race at Jerez.

Michael Laverty: "The race was a little bit disappointing for me, I rode hard again but this week I didn't quite have the speed to go with Barbera and Edwards. It was a lonely race once they got away from me but I kept a really consistent pace all the way through with barely any fluctuation on lap time. It was the best I could do today and another 16th place finish in the bag but we will continue to work in the test tomorrow to find some improvements that will allow us to gain those all important points."

Broc Parkes: "I concentrated on trying to get a better race set up and felt better in the race. I ran wide on the first lap and lost a lot of time but felt my race pace over the first part of the race was good and I was starting to understand the bike. I'm looking forward to the test tomorrow."

Phil Borley, Technical Director: "We were expecting better overall race times at Jerez than those we achieved so we need to understand why we lost some performance from practice to the race. Although Michael was closer to the winner than last year, the gap had not been reduced as much as we were hoping for and so we have not fully achieved our target. At least with the test tomorrow we have a chance to understand the problems experienced today and try to improve at the next race."

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