Excellent Ellison takes fantastic front row at Brands Hatch

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02 Brands 14-04-18 TAG 009

Anvil Hire TAG Racing’s James Ellison will line up for tomorrow’s first race in third on the grid, following a great Bennetts British Superbike qualifying session for the 38-year-old, only missing out on pole by a tenth of a second. Team mate Shaun Winfield will line up in 23rd place, after battling with setup issues through the session.

 

From the off James started strongly and straight away progressed into Q2 in ninth place, after posting a 45.667. Shaun failed to progress after struggling with set up issues during the opening 18 minute session, and would qualify in 23rd place.

 

Q2 saw James improve in time once again, posting a 45.271, sending him into the final eight-minute dash for pole, although the Cumbrian still felt there was more to come from the bike and him.

 

And that was certainly the case, the 38-year-old pulled out a 45.145 lap, although he did make a slight mistake on his flying lap, which left Ellison wondering what could have been.

 

Following the session, a pleased James Ellison said: “I’m really pleased with that, this means that my crew chief Allan has to gel his hair and my tech Simon has to wear his beret on the grid, that was the deal. I said before that getting on the front row was important because it’s a really long race around here and we’ve done that.

 

“I felt like pole position was in the bike, but I hit a bump on the exit of Clearways and I nearly tucked the front. I powered out of it and crossed the line with a 45.1 but then I couldn’t replicate it after because I’d used the best of the rear tyre. I’m happy to be on the front row, I feel like the pace is slightly lower than last year.

 

“My plan is to get away with the front guys and try to walk away with a couple of podiums tomorrow. It’s also really nice to be the top Yamaha again, for me and the team, we’re proving people wrong which is a really great feeling.

 

Team mate Shaun Winfield added: “We have been struggling a little bit with setup and I’m not going as fast as I did last year, which is really frustrating. If I produced the time I did last year I’d be well into the top 18 and Q2.

 

“I’m struggling in the final sector with the exit out of Clearways, and I’m losing too much time mid corner. We know where we need to go set up wise for tomorrow, and I’m confident it will make the difference.”

 

Race one will be shown live on Eurosport at 1:30 tomorrow, with race two broadcast at 4:30.