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Sep 3, 2013

More From This Past Weekend's Various Motorcycle Road Races

Connor Behan (2) in action during the Manx Grand Prix. Photo by Dave Kneen/www.manxphotosonline.com courtesy of KMR Kawasaki.
Silverstone Woe for PBM

Despite going into their home Grand Prix full of optimism, the Penrith-based PBM MotoGP Team left the Hertz British Grand Prix at Silverstone empty handed and unable to add to their points tally.

For the second weekend in a row, both Colombian rider Yonny Hernandez and Ulsterman Michael Laverty brought the machines home inside the top 20 but again both riders were outside of the all-important points.

It was a disappointing weekend for the team due to a series of crashes which saw Hernandez, from Medelln, on the Rapid Solicitors and Minxflix.com-sponsored Aprilia ART, crash out twice in Free Practice on Saturday and again in this morning's warm-up session whereas Laverty, from Toome in County Antrim, on the Rapid Solicitors and Minxflix.com-sponsored PBM machine also fell during Saturday's Free Practice.

Despite the setbacks, both riders were confident of a good result at a track they know well and have had some good results in the past as Hernandez lined up in 17th on the grid with Laverty two places behind.

In front of 75,000 fans, Laverty got the better start and headed Hernandez for the opening couple of laps until Hernandez took over and the pair circulated in 20th and 21st respectively for most of the race. Laverty passed his team-mate with two laps to go and crossed the line in 19th with Hernandez just behind in 20th.

Hernandez remains in 20th overall in the MotoGP World Championship standings with Laverty holding 24th in his debut season. In the Claiming Rules Teams (CRT) class, Hernandez is seventh with Laverty in tenth whereas PBM occupy eighth in the Constructors Championship and 12th in the Teams Championship in their debut season with their brand new British-built machine.

Michael Laverty: "Silverstone was my first experience of a home GP and it didn't disappoint, the crowd support was fantastic all weekend. It was great to see the amount of support the whole PBM team has as a British racing project. Obviously the end result is not where we want to be but that's the reality of developing a new motorcycle against the world's best. We will improve from here I'm confident of that and I would just like to thank all the team for the hard work this weekend."

Yonny Hernandez: "It was a difficult race because after my crashes I lost the good feeling I had on Friday. From the middle of the race I had some strange spinning and so I did not take any risks. I am not happy because I know I can do better and I hope to do be able to challenge for some points in Misano."

Phil Borley, Technical Director: "Unfortunately our home race has been the most disappointing weekend of the year, with the final results well below our expectations and capabilities. We tried to improve Michael's feeling with some different components and settings but the progress we thought had been made could not be translated into a competitive race pace, so we will have to try and improve at the next race. Yonny started the weekend very well but the crashes he suffered in cool conditions on Saturday and Sunday morning knocked his confidence and this added to a bike problem later in the race and resulted in his low finishing position. There has been a lot of work this weekend for the team so thanks to everyone for their efforts. We have to continue working hard to achieve better results in the future."

Paul Bird, Team Owner: "Not a very impressive weekend at all at our home GP and especially in front of our sponsors. The crashes on Saturday really put us on the back foot and then Yonny went and crashed early in warm up which was a silly mistake. We need to up our game and do it soon as this sort of performance isn't what we are capable of. Hopefully lessons have been learned this weekend and I'm expecting much better results at Misano."

Round 13 of the MotoGP World Championship takes place on September 13/15 at Misano. For more information, please visit the team's brand new website www.pbmuk.net and www.motogp.com




More, from a press release issued by KMR Kawasaki powered by Vauxhall (Northern Ireland dealers):

Ups and downs on the Island but KMR Kawasaki secure Manx GP podiums

The KMR Kawasaki team endured an up and down fortnight at the recent Manx Grand Prix but Connor Behan and Joe Faragher ensured it was another successful visit to the Isle of Man as they claimed second place in the Newcomers A and Newcomers B races respectively.

21-year old Behan increased his pace throughout practice week, claiming his first 110mph+ lap in the final practice session to set himself up nicely for Wednesday's four-lap race, which saw perfect conditions all the way round the 37 and 3/4-mile Mountain Course. Riding the 636cc Kawasaki, the Northwich rider completed his first lap at a speed of 111.298mph to slot into fourth place and that became third a lap later with a quicker lap of 113.149mph. By the end of lap three he was up to second and a brilliant fourth and final lap of 115.139mph, the fastest lap of the race, saw him bring the bike home for an excellent second place.

In the concurrently run Newcomers B race, Faragher was on board the 650cc ER6 Kawasaki and he lay in second throughout as he did battle with fellow Manxman Callum Collister. The latter was able to lap slightly quicker on each lap to continually extend his advantage but an excellent final lap of almost 110mph meant Joe made it two podiums for the team in the Newcomers races with another second place.

The rest of race week wasn't so kind for the team with James Cowton retiring from the lead of the Super Twins race. Fastest in practice with a stunning 113mph+ lap, the 21-year looked on course for his second Manx GP before stopping at Sarah's Cottage. The race was then red flagged due to deteriorating weather conditions but the Yorkshire rider was unable to make the re-start. Faragher took a steady 32nd in the re-run which saw near zero visibility over the Mountain whilst Behan was denied a second ride when the Senior race was cancelled for only the second time in the history of the event.

Meanwhile, there was disappointment too for Chesterfield's Ross Richards and Australia's Mick Neason who both failed to make the races after crashing heavily in practice at Ballahutchin and Keppel Gate respectively. Both riders fortunately escaped with relatively minor injuries but the same couldn't be said for the bikes and the team now have a major rebuilding operation on their hands.

Speaking later, team owner Ryan Farquhar commented; "Aye, it's been a bit of a mixed Manx GP campaign for the team but the main thing is that everyone's ok. The obvious highlights were the second places taken by Connor and Joe and both lads did a great job and I couldn't have been happier with how they rode. Connor got quicker with each and every lap, deservedly taking the fastest lap of the race, and I'm sure if he'd done a bit more homework prior to the event, the win would have been his. Second place is still an excellent effort as it was by Joe and to lap at almost 110mph on a Supertwin is no mean feat."

"James was well placed for a win in the Supertwins race with a substantial lead before breaking down so that was a great shame whilst the other lads didn't get to race due to their practice spills. After what happened 12 months ago, when the red flags came out for Ross' crash you fear the worst but fortunately he got away with what was a very high speed crash. There's a lot of work to be done now for the final two race meetings of the year - Killalane and Scarborough - but we'll see what we can do and endeavour to get as many bikes on the grid as possible."

The Killalance road races take place on September 7-8.