If there were awards for consistency, then the Penrith-based PBM MotoGP Team would be well to the fore as once again both Michael Laverty and Broc Parkes brought the Rapid Solicitors and Silkolene-backed PBM machines home at the GP Monster Energy de Catalunya.
However, in yet another cruel twist of irony, Ulsterman Michael Laverty saw his run of five finishes in 16th place end, instead bringing the Rapid Solicitors and Silkolene-backed Aprilia ART-powered PBM home in 17th place at round seven of the MotoGP World Championship, with Australian team-mate Broc Parkes pipping him to claim 16th and in doing so recorded his best result since the opening round at Qatar where he scored the team's one and only point to date.
There were high hopes for former British Supersport Champion Laverty and double World Supersport runner-up Parkes which saw Parkes qualify 19th with Laverty just two places back at the track in Barcelona.
In the race, the cooler temperate didn't suit the PBM bikes quite as much as in practice and after a good start, Parkes battled with the leading Open class bikes but Laverty struggled to get past Colin Edwards and as a result had to give second best to his team mate.
Laverty's latest result means he has scored five 16th, one 17th and one 18th place in seven races and apart from a technical problem in Austin; Parkes has finished every race also meaning 13 finishes out of the 14 races for the Paul Bird team.
Parkes holds 22nd overall in the 2014 MotoGP World Championship table following his ride into the points in Qatar, tenth in the Open class standings and third in Rookie of the Year. With his string of non points finishes, Laverty has yet to register on the scoreboard but importantly for the PBM team, they occupy seventh place in the manufacturer's table and 13th in the team's standings going into the next race at Assen in two weeks time.
Michael Laverty: "It was a good race for us but slightly disappointing in that we couldn't replicate the pace we had during practice in the hotter temperatures, I felt today it was possible to battle with Aoyama and Pirro but the colder temperatures meant we were just a fraction off with the set up. In the race I got caught behind Edwards for too long and then had to work hard to get up to Broc. Again today we were only one minute down on the leaders which is our target, so I believe the whole team has done a great job."
Broc Parkes: "I was really happy with my weekend as it was the best qualifying and second best race result this season. I was a little annoyed that there were only two people that went out of the race in front of me so we just missed out on a point as yet again, the attrition rate was low. It was the first time I beat all our main competitors and finished the closest to the front guys all year on time. I'd really like to thank the team as they worked great all weekend."
Phil Borley, Technical Director: "A satisfying and strong performance by both riders today, although unfortunately again just missing out on the points. It appears the PBM bike works well at Catalunya and we have been much closer to the best Open riders here than at previous races. We hope that the improvements will continue at the next races."
Image courtesy of Gold & Goose: Michael Laverty (70) and Broc Parkes (23) in action in Catalunya