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Bird putting PBM’s MotoGP future in place

“When people like Jeremy Burgess come up to you and say you have a lovely motorbike, you're not doing a bad job are you?” - Paul Bird.
PBM owner Paul Bird was present in Catalunya last weekend to start putting the pieces in place for the 2014 MotoGP season.

The British team made its MotoGP debut with a single ART entry for James Ellison in 2012.

The squad then expanded to two riders - and created its own Aprilia-powered prototype - for this season, when PBM is also defending its latest BSB title with Shane Byrne.

Rookie Michael Laverty is on the PBM grand prix bike, with Columbian Yonny Hernandez riding the full Aprilia package. Hernandez is presently sixth and Laverty eighth, out of twelve riders, in the CRT standings.

“2014 will see the next step for us in MotoGP,” Bird told “We'll have a much bigger presence in the paddock and be a strong privateer team. I'm going to be at most of the upcoming races to start putting things in place.”

The CRT MotoGP class is set to undergo big changes next season, when machinery from Yamaha and Honda will become available.

“There are some important decisions to make, especially for the engines,” said Bird. “It looks like the claiming rule is finished so Aprilia will have to upgrade their engines. They'll need to make an improvement if they'd like to retain us as a customer.

“We've also got to look at the Yamaha [M1] engines, the Honda production bike, leasing bikes. We'll start to talk to Ducati as well, why not? They build MotoGP bikes and the engines are fast enough on the straight. We've got our own bike to run them in.

“We started this [PBM bike] project and want to keep it going,” Bird added. “We're happy with chassis, but engine-wise we're limited with what we can do.”

The PBM machine began the season with virtually no testing, but scored points in only its third race and has already caught the eye of prestigious figures in the MotoGP paddock.

“When people like Jeremy Burgess [Valentino Rossi's crew chief] come up to you and say you have a lovely motorbike, you're not doing a bad job are you?” said Bird. “Designers from HRC [Honda] have said that the chassis looks fantastic - the head of design for HRC said that.

“We're up to step three with our bike and have plenty of ideas to improve it. There are still a few rough edges. I've got a lot of key personnel in the BSB team as well, good engineers, and two of them have been helping out here when we've had a few problems.

“We'd like both riders using the same bikes next year. That'll make development a lot easier.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Paul Bird, Catalunya MotoGP 2013
Paul Bird and Michael Laverty, Catalunya MotoGP 2013
Paul Bird, Catalunya MotoGP 2013
Paul Bird, Catalunya MotoGP 2013
PAul Bird, Catalunya MotoGP 2013
Paul Bird, Catalunya MotoGP 2013
Paul Bird, Catalunya MotoGP 2013
Paul Bird, Catalunya MotoGP 2013
Mika Kallio, KTM, Valentino Rossi, MotoGP [Credit: KTM press]
Eugene Laverty at Austria test (pic: Aspar).
Sam Lowes at Austria test (pic: Aprilia)
Sam Lowes at Austria test (pic: Aprilia)
Casey Stoner at Austria test (pic: Ducati)
Andrea Dovizioso at Austria test (pic: Ducati)
Andrea Iannone at Austria test (pic: Ducati)
Iannone at Austria test *pic: Ducati).
Rossi, German MotoGP Race 2016
Rossi, Crutchlow, Dovizioso checking tyres, bike swap, German MotoGP Race 2016

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June 21, 2013 5:38 PM

grateful he has joined motogp but i don't really appreciate his attitude to his riders , he wants to keep laverty and no mention of yonny who is beating laverty and in my belief is a better rider , the pressure he piled on ellison and then threw him away was very disrespectful despite ellisons great rides on the untested machine that bird would not believe it had problems.


June 21, 2013 6:18 PM

I remember watching BSB earlier this year, and when they were talking to Ellison he mentioned how he found out he'd been replaced at PBM when he watched an interview with Paul Bird. Bird didn't even have the courtesy to tell him himself or even get a member of the team to do it.

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