Published on 10 May 2012 by Toni M.
It looks like Paul Bird has changed his mind regarding Shane Byrne taking James Ellison’s place in the upcoming Le Mans GP as the PBM UK team has now confirmed that Ellison will be regularily taking his place on the grid next week.
It seemed that Bird wanted his BSB rider to give a second opinion on the severe chatter issues that Ellison has been lamenting on his Aprilia ART, but despite confirming faith in Ellison, the team doesn’t dismiss that in some later date either Byrne or Stuart Easton could test or even race the CRT bike.
PBM UK press release:
Following recent speculation regarding James Ellison’s participation in the 2012 MotoGP World Championship, the Paul Bird Motorsport Team (PBM UK) wishes to clarify that James will continue to race the CRT-specification Aprilia ART starting with the French Grand Prix at Le Mans on May 20th.
In order to assist with development with the project, the team considered utilising the services of another rider and whilst this remains an option either in future testing or in a race, the focus of the team will concentrate on James continuing to develop the machine in the forthcoming Grands Prix.
Phil Borley, Technical Director: “It was unfortunate that James didn’t finish the race in Estoril but he proved what the machine was capable of in Jerez. This is a long-term project and we have to look at all options available to us in achieving our goals, which both the team and James understand. Our concentration is now on getting the technical help we need and to make more progress at Le Mans and Catalunya.”
As required by MotoGP regulations, the two nominated test riders for the PBM UK team are confirmed as Shane Byrne and Stuart Easton.