Following on from their historic double points scoring efforts at Indianapolis earlier in the month, hopes of repeating the result in front of their home fans at the Hertz British Grand Prix at Silverstone today were dashed as Penrith-based PBM MotoGP team riders Michael Laverty and Broc Parkes finished outside of the points.
Going into the 12th round of the MotoGP World Championship, hopes were high for Paul Bird's team to continue their good form but once again it turned into one of frustration with neither rider able to add to their points tally.
Ulsterman Laverty, on the Rapid Solicitors and Silkolene-backed Aprilia ART-powered PBM, gradually improved through free practice and eventually matched his second best qualifying of the season to start from 20th position on the grid on row seven. However, Australian team-mate Parkes, on the Silkolene-backed PBM, could not find a good setting and had to settle for 23rd on the grid on row eight.
Former British Supersport Champion Laverty got a great start in front of a bumper crowd and was up to 16th in the opening stages and involved in a battle with a few of the other British riders. He dropped down the order slightly as the race progressed but finally crossed the line in 17th position to add to his season-long consistency.
Parkes, twice runner-up in the World Supersport Championship, battled hard during the team's final British Grand Prix and after 20 laps around the 3.66-mile circuit, claimed 21st at the flag.
The results see Parkes maintain his 20th position overall in the 2014 MotoGP World Championship table, seventh in the Open class standings and third in Rookie 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 San Marino Grand Prix at Misano in two weeks time where they hope for better fortunes.
Michael Laverty: "I was happy enough with the result. We got a good start and on the first lap there were four Brits together including Scott Redding, Cal Crutchlow, Leon Camier and myself. I tried to stay with them but eventually the grip I had started to diminish so I had to let them go. Leon had a three second gap on me but I just couldn't get back at him as the harder I tried the more mistakes I made. The race pace was good, I'm happy with 17th but points would have been nice."
Broc Parkes: "For the second meeting in a row, I struggled all weekend with obtaining a good setting and we tried so many different things to fix it but it didn't change. I was hoping the hotter weather would have helped us but it wasn't to be so we'll go back to the drawing board and see if we can work something out for Misano."
Phil Borley, Technical Director: "We have had mixed results for our home race with Michael having a good pace and making a big improvement on our overall race time from last year, but Broc was struggling with his bike and the conditions. We will keep pushing to improve both the bikes and our performance in the remaining races of the season."
Paul Bird, Team Owner: "We have come an awful long way since we started our Grand Prix project and whereas we'd love to be scoring points every week, the fact that we are within two or three seconds a lap off the factory bikes at some tracks is very satisfying. Michael and Broc gave it their best shot and it wasn't to be this weekend so we'll hopefully round off the season with some strong performances."
Image courtesy of Gold & Goose: Broc Parkes in action at Silverstone.