Paul Bird Motorsport has finally announced its rider line-up for the 2013 MotoGP season, and unsurprisingly James Ellison is not a part of the team. Bumping up to a two-rider squad, PBM will have Yonny Hernandez and Michael Laverty on dueling, but differing, Aprilia-powered bikes. The Colombian Hernandez will continue PBM’s efforts on the Aprilia ART racking package, while the British Laverty will campaign a British built CRT bike that uses an RSV4 motor.
Laverty’s chassis is reportedly being made by GPMS Technology, and the project is being headed by Phil Borley. PBM’s move to field a team-made bike is an interesting one, especially as the Aprilia ART is one of the most developed CRT packages on the MotoGP grid. Additionally, the team’s choice is interesting after Ellison’s comments about the PBM’s lack of testing and development for the 2012 season, an issue that will have to be turned around if the PBM-CRT project is to have any success.
Part of the motivation for the split garage is Paul Bird’s commitment to have a British team fielding a British bike with a British rider. In other news, the team is said to have a brand new color scheme, which will debut ahead of the 2013 testing.
“I am really looking forward to next season and especially the first test when I can ride my ART bikes and start work with Paul Bird and the PBM UK team,” said Yonny Hernandez. “I have high expectations for the season with my goal to finish the highest placed CRT rider in the championship.”
“I’m really excited about racing in the 2013 MotoGP series; I’d like to thank Paul and the guys at PBM UK for giving me this opportunity,” said Michael Laverty. “I will be riding an Aprilia powered PBM machine with the new chassis and control electronics, I can’t wait to get started pre-season testing at Sepang in early February. I will have to adapt to the Bridgestone tyres and carbon brakes plus learn a few new circuits along the way but I hope to be challenging for top CRT honours.”
“There are some experienced riders on CRT bikes so I am certainly not underestimating the challenge,” added Laverty. “It’s great to be back with the PBM team, having spent three years there I should easily slot back in, next season makes PBM the team I’ve spent the longest with so far in my career. It is going to be an interesting season with a lot to learn but I’m really up for the challenge.”
Source: Paul Bird Motorsport