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Upbeat Laverty vows to seize MotoGP chance

11 December 2012

MotoGP rookie Michael Laverty is optimistic a new chassis being developed for his PBM UK machine will enable him to make a big impact in the CRT class in 2013.

The experienced Northern Irishman was confirmed in Paul Bird's MotoGP team along with Yonny Hernandez last week.

Colombian Hernandez will ride the same Aprilia ART machine used by James Ellison this year, but Laverty's bike will feature a new chassis being developed by GPMS Technology.

The 31-year-old, who finished fifth in the British Superbike Championship this season on the Samsung Honda, will use the same Aprilia engine as Hernandez, but the unit will be fitted with a Magneti Marelli electronics system.

“I'm quite excited by it and hopefully the new chassis ends up being fruitful and we don't have to revert back to the Aprilia chassis; hopefully the new chassis being developed by the PBM team will be a step forward,” Laverty told Crash.Net.

“The bike that James [Ellison] rode this year was fully supplied by Aprilia - the electronics, chassis and engine was from the factory.

“You need an Aprilia technician to make any changes to the electronics of the bike and it can be quite restrictive, whereas the bike I've got is the same engine basically supplied by Aprilia but we're housing it in our own chassis that's being built in the UK by GPMS, which is the company that used to build the chassis for Kenny Roberts' team.

“They've also done all the work for Ten Kate in World Superbikes in recent years and have a lot of experience,” he added.

“They are building the chassis and then we'll bolt the control ECU in there - the Magneti Marelli system - which will be compulsory in 2014.”

Laverty has been brought in by Bird to spearhead the development of the team's CRT machine and the former British Supersport champion, now based in Wales, is confident he has the knowledge to successfully lead the project.

“It's all about looking to the future and understanding the electronics package and chassis this year and if the CRT rules change the year after with prototype engines becoming available, then we should be able to slot a Honda or Yamaha engine in there with the chassis and electronics package ready to go,” he said.

“There's quite a lot of money behind it on my side of the garage to develop the electronics and they have put their faith in me.

“I've been with the team before and they know that I'm quite analytical and I like to go into the detail of the electronics, whereas some other riders don't really like to get too involved with that.

“You learn from your mistakes but I've rode Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki Superbikes in the last few years and each of those had their own strengths and weaknesses and it was a big learning curve, so hopefully I can take that experience into next season.”

The opportunity to move to the MotoGP class was one that Laverty could not turn down and he intends to make the most of it to bolster his chances of continuing with Bird in 2014.

“It's a bit of a long-term project but I don't have a two-year contract and there is no guarantee [of a second year in the team].

“But if things go to plan this year and I perform well and develop the bike to a good level then hopefully the year after I can continue and have an engine in that chassis that would put us closer to the prototype bikes,” added Laverty.

“Ideally, that's where I want it to go and I hope we're successful enough to allow it to continue on for a second season.”


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