James Ellison to partner Shaun Winfield for 2018 MCE British Superbike Championship challenge with TAG Racing
TAG Racing are delighted to announce the signatures of James Ellison and Shaun Winfield on one year contracts for the 2018 MCE British Superbike season, as the team aim to go one better in the Championship standings
After achieving a career best result in the MCE British Superbike Championship two weeks ago, picking up second place in the 2017 standings, and third in the team Championship, the TAG Racing Yamaha team have finalised plans for the up coming campaign.
The team are proud to agree a deal with former MotoGP star and British Superbike Championship runner up James Ellison, who has penned a one year deal with the family run Swadlincote based outfit, as his ambitions match the teams, as they aim to win the MCE British Superbike Championship.
Ellison endured a tough and frustrating 2017, where he failed to secure his place in the ‘Showdown’ after a year of bad luck plagued the midlands based Cumbrian. James has one goal for the 2018 season, to win the Championship and pick up his first British Superbike title, in what will be his final year in the series.
Ellison will team up with Shaun Winfield, as he stays with the team for his fourth full year in the blue ribband class, and the 24-year-old is fully focused to pushing himself further up the grid in 2018.
Winfield picked up his career first points in the Superbike class, but has his eyes firmly set on finishing consistently in the top 15, and he aims to string together a career best season result.
Upgrades are coming thick and fast for the Derbyshire based outfit, who’s winter testing plans are being penned in as they aim to go one better, and win the 2018 MCE British Superbike Championship.
Following signing the deal, an excited James Ellison said: “I’m delighted to agree a deal with Rob and Tracy and the TAG Racing Yamaha team for the up and coming 2018 season, and I can’t wait to get underway. Staying on a Yamaha was a big deal for me, I led at some points in the first six rounds of the season and the bike has proven to be a race winner. It’s great to be able to agree the deal before Christmas so I am able to focus on the task in hand, the team can develop the bike in certain areas and we can start testing as soon as possible.
“Last year was tough but we showed strong pace and ran at the front every weekend other than Thruxton, but we just threw away too many points with a few crashes and technical DNF’s. My early impressions are that the team are great, they have a great bunch of guys and I can’t wait to get working with them, the family atmosphere was also a big deal for me.
“It’s going to be my final year in MCE BSB so I want to win it, I want to go out with a bang and give everyone something to cheer. My best year was in 2009 on a Yamaha where I finished second, so I’m fully focussed on going one better in 2018 to win my first BSB Championship.”
Speaking ahead of his fourth full season in the Superbike class, Shaun Winfield added: “I’m delighted to be staying in MCE BSB for 2018, it’s going to be my fourth full year in the Superbike class and I’m fully focussed on once again improving.
“2017 was a challenging year for me, I had some very big crashes which knocked my confidence slightly but I picked up my first set of points, and I’m aiming to go better in 2018. We have the package, I have had another year’s experience under my belt and learnt of my team mate a lot last year, which I will bring into this year.
“Last year was the best we’ve had as a team, and I’m fully focused on delivering a better season in 2018. I can’t wait to get testing again and working on the upgrades we have coming our way.”
A delighted Team Owner Rob Winfield summerised: “We’re delighted to announce our rider line up for 2018 so early, this means we can focus on the upgrades we have coming our way and we can make a strong plan for the new season earlier than we did in 2017.
“Firstly, I want to place on record my thanks to Josh Brookes and the work he did last season, as a team we proved many people wrong and came so close to achieving the ‘impossible,’ and we would like to wish Josh the very best in whatever he chooses to do in the future.
“I’m delighted to be able to welcome James to the team, he’s shown a lot of interest in the programme we have in place here, and he’s determined to help us to go one better for 2018. The calibre of James doesn’t need to be spoke about, he has a lot of experience and he knows the Yamaha very well, which will help us and him when we get out testing.
“Our aim is the win the Championship in 2018, we have learnt a lot from last year which we are bringing into this coming season, with James’ focus and drive to succeed in his last year in the Championship it has the omen’s to be a very good season.
“Shaun is fully focused to improve his results he achieved this year in 2018, he’s learnt a lot from Josh and he’s improved vastly by picking up points and improving on his personal bests at almost every track we’ve visited. We have plans as a team to help him a lot more this year, and we hope that will push him close to the front, where ultimately, we all want him to be.
“Nobody expected anything from last year, but we have expectations to improve the end result and go one better, so expect us to be fighting at the front once again.”
The team will now test today (24th October) at Donington Park, as our 2018 plans get underway.