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Jun 02, 2014 - 06:15 AM
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Laverty And Parkes On The Cusp Of Points
Posted by: newsla on Jun 02, 2014 - 06:12 AM
MotoGP
Laverty And Parkes On The Cusp Of Points


After finishing in 16th position in four of the five Grands Prix coming into round six at the Gran Premio d'Italia TIM at Mugello today, PBM MotoGP rider Michael Laverty was hoping to go one place better and score his first points of the season but yet again he was left one place short as team-mate Broc Parkes followed him home in the 23-lap epic.

 

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Ulsterman Laverty and Australian Parkes struggled due to changeable weather during practice and qualifying at the Italian track and as a result, the Rapid Solicitors and Silkolene-backed PBM machines lined up towards the rear of the grid in positions 20th and 22nd respectively.

With race day dawning dry and sunny, and in front of 80,000 fanatical locals cheering on home hero Valentino Rossi, ex British Supersport champion Laverty and double World Supersport runner-up Parkes were soon inside the top 20 in the opening laps as they battled with the other Open class machines.

Laverty, aboard the Rapid Solicitors and Silkolene-backed Aprilia ART-powered PBM, started to edge clear of his team-mate and by lap eight, he was up to 16th and on the cusp of the points with Parkes making his way up to 18th, despite it being his debut at the track.

As the battles raged throughout the field, Laverty and Parkes continued to lap consistently but couldn't bridge the gap to former double World Superbike Champion Colin Edwards who claimed 15th place. Parkes, meanwhile, edged up to 17th at half distance and held his position despite reduced grip in the latter stages.

Laverty's result means it's the fifth time in six races that he has finished in 16th place and apart from a technical problem in Austin; Parkes has finished every race also meaning 11 finishes out of the 12 races for the Penrith, Cumbria team.

Parkes holds 22nd overall in the 2014 MotoGP World Championship table following his ride into the points in Qatar, tenth in the Open class standings and third in Rookie of the Year. With his string 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 manufacturer's table and 13th in the team's standings going into the next race at Barcelona in two weeks time.

Michael Laverty: "Well you can't knock our consistency! 16th place again but unfortunately no points. It was another good race for us, the team gave me an improved bike this weekend with some updates and I feel we have done a good job with the set-up. The gap to the Factory bikes is a little too big to bridge at the moment so we have to be content to continue the battle with the other Open class bikes on the grid."

Broc Parkes: "I knew Mugello was going to be a tough one for me being my first time here and missing one whole session on Friday which put us a little on the back foot. I really enjoyed the track and in the race I had a good start and went with the guys but felt the grip go away and ended up fighting with the Avintia bikes. I was hoping to have a little better pace in the race but we will have a study and see if I can get stronger next race. Barcelona is another new track so need to do as many laps as possible there in practice."

Phil Borley, Technical Director: "Although it is good to have another double finish, I was hoping we could have been a little more competitive at Mugello. The new parts we used here seemed to have improved the bikes but we still have a big gap to close here, so we need to keep working hard."


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