The Ulsterman has shown a lot of promise in his rookie campaign as he develops the PBM bike but with question marks about what the team will run next season he likely to be in no rush to confirm his future.
Speaking to Stephen English Laverty said:
“Paul has said that he’s happy with the job that I’m doing and the plan is that next year we’ll continue the job that we’re doing; ideally that’s the plan,” said Laverty. “This year I wanted to learn the tracks and how everything works and then hopefully next year we can get something a bit stronger engine wise-the Yamaha lease deal, the Honda production racer-but I’m not sure what will be available but it looks like there should be some prototype engines available for the CRT teams. Paul said from the start that that would be his goal but there’s a lot of politics involved in getting it sorted.”
With the team having spent the last year developing their own chassis it is unlikely that we would see them use the Honda production racer and an engine supply deal with Yamaha looks like a much more likely outcome if agreements can be made.
“I’m very keen to keep Michael,” confirmed Bird. “We got him at a bit of steal this year. I’d like to get him some more money and ramp him up a bit next year. The team will be happy to keep him.”
When asked about his plans for engine supplies next season the team boss said that:
“It looks like the claiming rule is finished so Aprilia will have to upgrade their engines. They’ll need to make an improvement if they’d like to retain us as a customer. We’ve also got to look at the Yamaha [M1] engines, the Honda production bike, leasing bikes. We’ll start to talk to Ducati as well, why not? They build MotoGP bikes and the engines are fast enough on the straight. We’ve got our own bike to run them in. We started this [PBM bike] project and want to keep it going. We’re happy with chassis, but engine-wise we’re limited with what we can do.”