Broc Parkes will join Michael Laverty in the PBM MotoGP team for the 2014 season.

Parkes, 31, is a double title runner-up in World Supersport and has also spent several seasons in WSBK, including one year (2009) with the then PBM Kawasaki team.

Set to be the only Australian on the 2014 MotoGP grid, Parkes has made one previous GP appearance - as a 125cc wild-card in 1999 - before starting his world championship career in 2001.

"Firstly, I'd like to say a massive thanks to Paul Bird for the opportunity to work with his team once again; I'm really looking forward to it," said Parkes.

"This is the premier class and it's every rider's dream to race in MotoGP. I know this is going to be a tough season but I'm certainly up for the challenge, I can't wait to get started."

The team state that Laverty, 32, and Parkes will race "PBM Aprilias", suggesting PBM's own chassis with the Aprilia ART engine rather than the full ART package.

"We learned so much in year one that I'm delighted Paul has continued his involvement with MotoGP and that he's given me the opportunity to continue with the project," commented Laverty, who raced the new PBM-Aprilia for much of this year.

"Everyone has told me that year two is much easier so the aim is to put into place what we have learned and to raise our game accordingly. The class is going to be a lot tougher with the new production bikes but our aim is to consistently score points."

PBM are expected to continue in British Racing Green livery, with the team to be officially unveiled at the London Motorcycle Show from February 14-16.

Team owner Paul Bird stated: "We've done a lot of spade work in MotoGP over the past two seasons so the plan is to build on that and work with our partners and Michael and Broc are very capable of delivering."

Last month's provisional MotoGP entry list had named Laverty on a 'PBM/ART' with his team-mate 'To Be Confirmed'.

After running James Ellison during its inaugural 2012 MotoGP campaign, PBM expanded to a two-rider line-up for its second season, handing the full ART to Yonny Hernandez and adding the new PBM bike for rookie Laverty.

Hernandez left to replace Ben Spies at Pramac Ducati after Misano, resulting in Laverty moving onto the ART and Australian Damian Cudlin called-up for the PBM machine.

Hernandez had scored seven points before his departure, with Laverty adding a further three points courtesy of 13th place at Jerez - the Ulsterman frustrated not to repeat his stunning test form on the ART at Sepang in February during the end of season rounds.

Determined to push the team further up the grid, Paul Bird had set his sights on forging closer manufacturer links for 2014, when the CRT class is to be replaced by the new breed of Open class bikes.

But with PBM looking likely to run its own chassis next season, rather than the full ART, it remains to be seen how much additional backing they will get from Aprilia - which claims it will return to the premier-class as an official factory entry in 2016.

With Aspar and Cardion AB dropping Aprilia for Honda, PBM offers the only chance of continuity for the Italian brand - and are also the only team with experience of racing the RSV4 engine with the control ECU system, mandatory in 2014.

But Bird was underwhelmed by the initial Aprilia negotiations and revealed he was prepared to walk away from MotoGP, in which case Laverty would have been placed in PBM's title-winning BSB team. Indeed, Laverty joined Shane Byrne and Stuart Easton on a BSB-spec Kawasaki in a PBM test at Cartagena earlier this week, although Laverty stressed BSB was simply "a back-up plan in case the MotoGP deal fell apart".

Came Iodaracing, which ran Suter-BMW machinery in MotoGP this year, is now the last remaining MotoGP team to confirm its 2014 plans. Ioda are rumoured to be in talks with Aprilia and Leon Camier, to join Danilo Petrucci.

Parkes replaces former Gresini rider Bryan Staring as the only Australian on the MotoGP grid.


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