4 December 2012
PBM confirms Laverty, Hernandez
"I will be riding an Aprilia powered PBM machine with the new chassis and control electronics" - Michael Laverty.
After being named on the provisional MotoGP entry list, PBM has now confirmed that Yonny Hernandez and Michael Laverty will form its expanded 2013 MotoGP rider line-up.
Successful in both BSB and WSBK, PBM joined MotoGP under the new privateer 'Claiming Rule Team' regulations at the start of 2012, running James Ellison on Aprilia ART machinery whilst also continuing in BSB.
Ellison took a best finish of ninth and fourth in the CRT standings, but was left out of PBM's 2013 expansion and is returning to BSB.
Michael Laverty, brother of WSBK star Eugene, is moving in the opposite direction, having won races on his way to fifth overall in this year's BSB series for Samsung Honda.
It has also been confirmed that Laverty will ride a new RSV4-powered 'PBM machine'.
"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 the 31-year-old, who previously raced for PBM in BSB back in 2005 and 2006.
“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.
“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."
24-year-old Hernandez will steer the tried and tested ART bike, and joins the British team after spending his debut MotoGP season with Avintia Blusens.
Like Ellison, Hernandez took a best finish of ninth, but missed the last three rounds due to injury.
"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,” he said. “I have high expectations for the season with my goal to finish the highest placed CRT rider in the championship."
Team owner Paul Bird added: "We have now finalised all the details of the contracts and I'm delighted to announce that both Yonny and Michael will be riding in MotoGP for us next season.
“We learned a lot this season and we plan on building on that experience as we want to challenge for top CRT honours and I see no reason why we can't. It's certainly going to be a very busy year for us, that's for sure!"
PBM, which will be running a new colour scheme next year, will also defend its BSB title with Shane Byrne in 2013.
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