Michael Laverty’s future with the PBM MotoGP squad seems secure for 2014, but the British rider is hoping to finalise a deal imminently having not yet put pen to paper on a final contract.
Laverty agreed terms with Paul Bird to remain with the multi-millionaire businessman’s British-based squad during the German round at the Sachsenring back in mid-July.
The former BSB title contender though has still not signed a contract and he is hoping to have the final formalities sorted out before the forthcoming flyaway triple-header in Malaysia, Australia and Japan.
Laverty told MCN: “I haven’t signed a contract as yet but I am pretty confident I will be around. Paul and I made an agreement at the Sachsenring and nothing has changed really. Paul seems to still believe in me and he seems reasonably happy, though both of us would like to have had bit better results. I could do with getting a contract to be honest to get it all firmed up. Until I get a contract I can’t get my helmet and other deals together. I’d like to try and get that firmed up before the flyaway races.”
Laverty will switch to the Aprilia ART machine previously campaigned by South American Yonny Hernandez for the final five races of the season after the Colombian moved to Pramac Ducati to replace injured Ben Spies.
Laverty has raced the British designed and built PBM for 13 races and scored points just once in Jerez.
He tested the ART machine during a post-race session at Misano earlier this month and he said: “It was interesting and it helped me to understand immediately the problem I have been having with the PBM bike. When you mention the same problem every week you start to wonder if it is you so it was nice to get on the ART and back up everything I have been saying. I think the weight balance of the PBM and the inertia of the engine are the two things that need to be changed to make it stop a little easier.
I have always said it is really difficult to stop and the first thing I noticed about the ART was how well it stops. I was using the same braking markers during the race weekend and I was actually stopping too early, so it was a lot easier to pull it up. It was a little bit easier but there was quite a lot of chatter and we spent a lot of time getting that dialled out. I didn’t really get the electronics how I like them because with the Aprilia the first touch of the throttle is quite soft. You’ve got to get to 50% throttle opening before you get that punch, where my normal one is a bit too snatchy and we need something in between.”