An exclusive interview with PBM team boss Paul Bird conducted at the Valencia MotoGP...
What have you thought of the year?

Paul Bird:
It's been a bit disappointing results-wise, but building our own bike was something that we wanted to do but we haven't had the time to develop the bike because of time restraints - being a small team with a small budget meant that we have struggled. We built our own bike, which we're quite proud of, but we're in a situation now where we need to move forward.

In this class the only way to move forward is with support from a manufacturer. Hopefully Aprilia will be able to step up to the plate and make that possible. If it doesn't happen then I'll just walk away. I'm not going to do what we're doing now. It's great being part of MotoGP but I don't enjoy running at the back.

We're competitive and want to move up the standings. To do that we need manufacturer support for equipment which would attract better riders.
How much of the budget comes out of your own pockets?

Paul Bird:
The sponsors that we have here are all our BSB sponsors so it's all backed by me really. It's coming to the stage where we've done it for a years but I won't do it anymore.
Did you see signs of progress this year that you're pleased with?

Paul Bird:
Not really, we've just done nothing because we don't have the time to develop anything. It was difficult with Yonny because he crashed a lot so that put us on the back foot for repairs and parts.

The only way to move forward is with support from a manufacturer and we need that so obviously being the only Aprilia team left they have to help us. But I don't think that they like to have to pay to go racing but I don't enjoy it either!

It's at the stage now where I have to think commercially about what I want to do. Do I want to spend three million pounds on racing next year in MotoGP or should I use that money for my family. I have to think about my family too and I could just have the team back home in Britain and I'd be happy enough with that.

I want to carry on here but I've told Aprilia that they have to help. I don't mind paying some but I won't pay it all so they need to support us properly or I'll walk away.
Is it financial support or technical support that you need from Aprilia?

Paul Bird:
I need everything. Technically I need hardware and material and then staff. If they don't I won't do it.
How have the talks progressed?

Paul Bird:
They gave me a proposal and I gave it back to them. I told them to rethink things, which they have already, but it will need to go to a higher level.

They've been to have a look at our facility and we have a fantastic facility, probably one of the best in Europe, and I think that they got a bit of a shock out of seeing how serious a place that we have.

We're serious about going racing but we need some help. They're a big manufacturer with backers and if they want to go racing they need to be serious and it's going to cost them money.
Do you look at it that you're the last remaining Aprilia team in the paddock and that they need to support you?

Paul Bird:
Possibly but I know that Ioda are also looking at Aprilia. That could be out of desperation because their finances aren't as secure as ours. If we want to go racing we'll go racing I've got plenty of money to do it but that's not the issue.

I'm not going to do it [on my own] next year but I'd back off it. I know that Dorna and IRTA are very keen for me to stay and they want to try and help and make some doors open but I'm at the stage where I'm thinking about whether I want to keep doing it or not.
How tough has the two years in MotoGP been on you personally?

Paul Bird:
It's been alright and I enjoy coming here. We can blend in here so it's not like British Superbikes where everyone wants to beat us and thinks that we're cheating. The BSB team is well funded now and will carry on for next year and I might even run three riders if this doesn't happen here.

If that happens and Michael [Laverty] didn't have a deal I'd take him across, I've always said that there is something there for him next year but I'd be disappointed if this didn't happen for him next year. I'd probably also do more road racing next year, we run Stuart Easton at the North West, but if we didn't run here we'd have the resources to run one rider at the TT as well.

But this is the priority and we've come a long way to be here and be accepted here. We've got some great people and I'd like us to carry on but I won't carry on firing ?3 million of my own money into it. It's up to Aprilia though, if they want to go racing they'll have to spend some of their own money.
From Dorna's perspective you said that they were keen to keep you?

Paul Bird:
Yeah, they're desperate for it to happen. I'm not sure [what their support will be be] but I had a quick chat with Carmelo yesterday so we'll see.
For next year it looks as though Randy [de Puniet] could be coming across, is that something that you want or something that Aprilia and Dorna are pushing for?

Paul Bird:
It's something that has been coming for a while behind the scenes. His management team has spoken to me throughout the year and obviously Aprilia are very keen to keep him because of his technical input. I'd be happy with that because I think that we could do a better job with him than in a Spanish team.

I think he'd be better suited in my team and we could make him perform better I'm sure. There's a Spanish rider in his team and it's an all-Spanish team so I think that it's difficult for him there and I'm sure this would be better for him.
Overall how do you feel about next year?

Paul Bird:
I'm confident of it happening because they know that we have everything and it's a cheap way for them to go racing. We have all the hardware, we have the trucks, the hospitality, the facilities and the staff to make it happen.

All that they [Aprilia] have to do is give us a few key staff. I would say that all they have to put in is three or four staff into the team and some machinery.
When do you think you'll know more?

Paul Bird:
It's up to them but it will be happening very quickly because I've told them that it'll have to be quick otherwise I'll walk away.
For the test next week is it confirmed that you'll run the 2014 chassis?

Paul Bird:
Yeah, that bike has been brought here for that. There will be some hard work done here tonight but that's what we're here to do. We want the job and we brought some staff from the British team this weekend to help the team. We've got lots of people wanting to work with the team so I promise you that we want to do a better job than we have been doing.
Will Randy be testing with the team on Monday?

Paul Bird:
Yeah, that's happening.