Paul Bird Motorsport has confirmed it will allow test rider Shane Byrne to sample its ART CRT machine during the post-race MotoGP test at the Circuit de Catalunya.

The Englishman, who has been competing with PBM's Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki team in the British Superbike Championship this season, gets his chance after both he and BSB team-mate Stuart Easton were recently confirmed as the team's official test riders.

Byrne has not jumped aboard a MotoGP machine since the 2005 Qatar Grand Prix when he rode the Camel Honda in place of the injured Troy Bayliss. He also had stints riding the KTM-powered Roberts bike in 2005 and Aprilia in 2004.

Byrne's appearance on the Aprilia-engineered PBM bike comes after Paul Bird hinted that he was considering replacing race rider Ellison with the two-time BSB champion so as to get a new opinion on apparent chassis issues.

However, with Ellison enjoying an upturn in form since then with a CRT 'win' at Le Mans and a competitive outing in Spain, Byrne will for the time being just get a test outing on the bike alongside his countryman.

Ellison, meanwhile, finished 16th and fourth in class during the Catalunya Grand Prix, a result he was pleased with given the accident he had suffered in morning warm-up.

"I was happy with my pace but disappointed not to get into the points and stay with the leading trio of CRT bikes at the end. It didn't help that I was missing gears down the straights so that is something we are going to look into. On a good lap I could close right in but then the problem would reoccur and I lost the time I'd made up.

"I'd like to say a big thanks to the team as they worked their butts off to get the bike ready after warm up where I crashed and we are now looking forward to testing the bike tomorrow. All things considered it was a good, solid race and I can't wait for Silverstone to see the home fans!"

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