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Laverty confident of challenging for CRT title

Michael Laverty and Paul Bird Motorsport demonstrated great potential at Sepang this week. Although there was a significant delay in preparing the in-house built bike’s electronic system, his pace later in the test gave the Northern Irish rookie enough confidence to hope for a CRT title attack this year.

Before heading to Malaysia, the PBM chassis – running an Aprilia engine as opposed to teammate Yonny Hernández, whose entire bike is an Aprilia Racing Technology package – was yet to hit the track. Yet Laverty was still able to notch up a total of 43 laps and even out-pace the Colombian.

"It’s been three days of trying to be patient!" Laverty laughed in a video interview with "In the end we started at 2pm on Thursday and had half a day of testing out of three days. Putting the Magneti Marelli ECU onto the Aprilia engine has proven to be a little bit tougher than anticipated; it’s taken a lot of work from the Marelli guys to get everything working.

"When I got on-track I thought, ‘Yes, this now feels like a racing bike!’ The throttle response was feeling normal and I could ride it. We’ve worked really hard over the test but unfortunately just started to run out of time; but in the end it was starting to feel really good and we could push the chassis – that’s the major bonus of it, I think. For a brand-new bike that has only just done its first laps in anger and to be only seven tenths of a second off the ART bike I used at the first test, I think the potential is there and the bike can be really good."

Moving on to discuss his expectations for 2013, the 31-year-old from Toomebridge concluded:

"Everyone expects it to take some time, but the potential is there already. I think we could have something with which to challenge for top CRT honours this year."

Laverty makes his MotoGP™ debut after three years of finishing in the top five of the British Superbike Championship.

MotoGP, 2013, Michael Laverty, Paul Bird Motorsport

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