Following on from their historic double points scoring efforts at Indianapolis just one week earlier, it was back down to earth with a bump for both the Penrith-based PBM MotoGP team and riders Michael Laverty and Broc Parkes.
Going into the 11th round of the MotoGP World Championship, hopes were high for Paul Bird's team to continue their good form at the bwin Grand Prix Ceske Republiky at Brno this weekend but it turned into one of frustration with neither rider able to add to their points tally.
Neither Ulsterman Laverty, on the Rapid Solicitors and Silkolene-backed Aprilia ART-powered PBM, nor Australian team-mate Parkes, on the Silkolene-backed PBM, could find a good setting to hoist them up the grid and they qualified towards the back for today's race.
At the start, former British Supersport Champion Laverty struggled to get his machine off the line due to a malfunction with the launch control as Parkes, twice runner-up in the World Supersport Championship, made the better of the two starts.
On lap seven, just as he was making inroads to the riders in front, Laverty crashed out and whereas Parkes gamely battled to a 19th place finish, he was far from happy with the result after struggling all weekend.
Despite the result, Parkes maintains his 20th position overall in the 2014 MotoGP World Championship table, eighth in the Open class standings and third in Rookie of the Year. Following only his second DNF of the year, Laverty still occupies 23rd place and 11th in the Open class. Importantly for the PBM team, they hold fifth place in the manufacturer's table and 11th in the team's standings.
The PBM MotoGP team is next in action at the Hertz British Grand Prix at Silverstone in two weeks time where they hope for better fortunes.
Michael Laverty: "I am disappointed to crash out of the race today, I was pushing hard to get back onto the group following a terrible start due to a launch control problem. I had just got to the group and pushed the front tyre that 1% too hard, bottomed the forks out and down I went. We worked hard during the weekend and had a good setting for the race, sorry to the team but these things happen. We will regroup for our home race at Silverstone in two weeks time."
Broc Parkes: "I struggled all weekend with front end problems and could not get it fixed for the race, we tried so many different things to fix it but it didn't change. We need to find the problem if I'm going to get some better results for our team's home race in Silverstone."
Phil Borley, Technical Director: "The Brno round has probably been our most frustrating weekend of the year, as we have had a number of small problems, we struggled for pace in some of the sessions and for Broc also in the race as well. Michael had an electronics problem which lost him some time at the start, but during the race, his pace was good and he had closed the gap to some of our competitors. Unfortunately he then crashed, so we do not know what he could have achieved if he had finished. Broc has had problems with his setting for most of the weekend and has only been comfortable in the morning warm-up session. The same setting did not work for him in the race, so we will have to try some other solutions at our next race in Silverstone."
Image courtesy of Gold & Goose: Michael Laverty (70) and Broc Parkes (23)