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Hernandez Scores Points As PBM Riders Deliver

  Date: Tuesday 09 April, 2013
The PBM MotoGP team of Yonny Hernandez and Michael Laverty were in action at the opening round of the MotoGP World Championship in Qatar this weekend where both riders put in an impressive performance for the Penrith-based team.

Both riders were contesting the Claiming Rules Teams (CRT) class where Hernandez, in only his second season in MotoGP was aboard the team's updated-specification Minxflix.com Aprilia ART and Laverty rode the revolutionary brand new PBM-chassised Minxflix.com Aprilia at his debut event.

24-year-old Colombian Hernandez, from Medelln, overcame a couple of crashes during practice to compete against the other CRT entries and in FP2, was 14th overall and second CRT bike. As the weekend progressed, Yonny ended up sixth in the new-look qualifying format to place himself in a handy 16th on the grid for the opening race of the season.

Meanwhile 31-year-old Laverty, from Toome in Northern Ireland was tasked with developing the unique machine as well as initiating himself into the series and he acquitted himself magnificently throughout the weekend. Gradually bringing himself and the machine up to speed, he posted 14th fastest time during qualifying to slot into 24th space on the grid as his lap times tumbled.

Into the only night-time race of the season and both riders didn't make the best of starts with Hernandez running in a points-scoring 15th place in the early stages as Laverty climbed inside the top 20. By half race distance, Hernandez was challenging for 14th with Laverty also looking to improve on his top 20 place and although Yonny was briefly up to 13th place, he had to settle for 14th at the flag, just missing out on third placed in the CRT class by a second.

Laverty gamely battled on and steadily improved his position, climbing to 17th overall and seventh CRT machine on lap 16 where he held off Lukas Pesek to claim his first MotoGP finish. It was testimony to his and the PBM team's spirit and resolve that he remained on the same lap as eventual winner Jorge Lorenzo after 22 laps of the Doha, Losail track.

Michael Laverty: "It is great to get the first round under our belts and to bring the bike home safely. It's not the position we wanted but we have to keep reminding ourselves that Rome wasn't built in a day. We are making good progress with the PBM bike and all things considered we are not that far away from the top CRTs at this stage. I believe we can take a good step forward in Austin for round two."

Yonny Hernandez: "I did not have a good start and lost some positions but was able to recover them before the end of the first lap. The bike set-up felt good, so I was able to push hard and I had a nice fight with Hector Barbera in the race. I am happy with the result and scoring two points for the team and championship is great. With more time on the bike and set up work for the latter part of the race, I am confident of improving further."

Phil Borley, Technical Director: "We are pleased with the results as both of our riders rode their bikes at a high level. Yonny did not have the best of starts but soon got into a strong rhythm and achieved a points scoring result. Michael's race was affected by the lack of time we have had setting up the new PBM bike but his race lap times were consistent and we are more than happy to have finished our first race at a respectable pace. With the benefit of the race data for both of our riders, we now look forward to the Texas race."

Round two of the MotoGP World Championship takes place at Austin, Texas, USA on Sunday 21st April. For more information, please visit the team's brand new website www.pbmuk.net and www.motogp.com