Michael Laverty is hoping to get in some critical development mileage on the new British-built PBM chassis he will race in his rookie MotoGP campaign when winter testing resumes in Sepang next week.
The Irishman produced one of the outstanding performances of the first MotoGP test in Malaysia earlier this month when he set the third fastest CRT time behind Aspar duo Aleix Espargaro and Randy de Puniet.
He was 15th overall despite having never seen the Sepang track before or used Bridgestone tyres and carbon brakes.
During the first test the former BSB winner rode a full Aprilia ART machine, which team boss Paul Bird will use with Colombian rider Yonny Hernandez in 2013.
Laverty is due to race Bird’s own chassis, which has been designed by UK-based specialists GPMS, who have previously worked with US legend Kenny Roberts.
Lavery’s PBM frame will house an Aprilia motor and it will also use the standard Dorna-supplied Magneti Marelli electronics, which a host of teams tried at the first Sepang test.
The PBM chassis wasn’t quite ready in time to be shipped to Kuala Lumpur for the first test but Laverty told MCN: “Fingers crossed we have it for the second test because it would be good to get a back-to-back comparison on the same circuit with the ART I’ve already ridden here.
"Now I know how good the ART package is we can make a judgement. It is going to be a challenge but I am looking forward to it. I’m quite happy and content on the ART bike, so I am hoping the new chassis is as good and I feel as positive when we go back to Sepang.
"The tough part is I’ve spent the last test on the ART bike and being on the PBM chassis means we will be starting from scratch. There will be new electronics as well but it is good that I’ve learnt the tyres and brakes on a proven package, so hopefully we can get the PBM bike up to that level.
"We need to get on it sooner rather than later so we are not trying to dial in a new bike too close to the first race.”
The March 6 issue of Motor Cycle News will feature comprehensive and exclusive coverage of the second MotoGP test in Sepang.