After successful outings in Qatar and Austin, round three of the MotoGP World Championship at Jerez saw mixed fortunes for the Penrith-based PBM MotoGP team of Yonny Hernandez and Michael Laverty. With Hernandez qualifying 21st on the grid on the Rapid Solicitors and Minxflix.com-sponsored Aprilia ART and Laverty alongside on his PBM-chassised Rapid Solicitors and Minxflix.com-sponsored Aprilia both riders were hopeful of a good performance in the Claiming Rules Teams (CRT) class. 31-year-old Laverty, from Toome in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, ended up scoring his first World Championship points with a superb 13th place finish after steadily climbing the leaderboard throughout the 27 lap race and in doing so rewarded the team with their best result of the season to date. The fact that the former British Supersport Champion achieved it on the brand new PBM machine, meaning their first Constructors points, added to the historic celebration. 24-year-old Colombian Hernandez, from Medelln, was hoping to add to his points scoring finishing at the opening two GPs but struggled throughout the weekend and crashed out of the race on lap three, luckily without injury, to end the team's 100% finishing record. The results mean that both Laverty and Hernandez are tied on three points each in joint 17th in the MotoGP World Championship and equal fourth in the CRT standings going into the next round in France. Michael Laverty: "I'm really happy to collect my first MotoGP points and also the first for PBM as a constructor. It was a difficult weekend up until race day but the team worked hard as always and came up with some answers for race day. We need to improve our pace on new tyres in the early laps as late in the race we are lapping close to the pace of Espargaro but he is much faster on new rubber. We are getting closer every race and we will keep progressing as we learn more about the PBM machine and begin to maximise its potential." Yonny Hernandez: "I am very disappointed about the crash as I am sure I could have scored points even though I did not have as good a feeling with the bike this weekend. My start was OK but I was pushed wide at turn six on the first lap and I lost some positions. I did not have the chance to find my rhythm and do not know why I crashed because I do not think I pushed too hard. I hope we can find a better setting for Le Mans." Phil Borley, Technical Director: "It has been a very challenging weekend, in which progressing our performance has been difficult. We finally found some improvements for Michael in the warm up session and he used these in the race to score our first points of the season on the new PBM bike. With Yonny we were unable to find a setting with the front of the bike that allowed him to ride with confidence, and unfortunately he crashed when there was a good chance of scoring points. We have some options to test today which hopefully will help both riders for the next races." Paul Bird, Team Owner: "We have made history with Michael scoring his best GP result and our first constructor's points so I'm absolutely made up. He rode a sensible and mature race and was rewarded with claiming 13th place at the flag. Yonny has struggled all weekend and it's disappointing he crashed out but to finish five out of six races and score points in half of them is a fantastic achievement for our little team."
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