Top ten for Ellison under red hot Oulton sun

R03 Oulton 05-05-18 TAG 076

James Ellison will start tomorrow’s first Bennetts British Superbike race at Oulton Park from tenth on the grid, after experiencing tyre issues in Q2 under the red hot sun. Team mate Shaun Winfield improved in time following the free practice sessions, which will mean he starts from 25th tomorrow afternoon.

After missing the final free practice session due to technical issues, James Ellison headed for the three tier qualifying session in a focussed mood, and instantly posted his fastest lap of the weekend, sending him straight in to Q2.

Shaun Winfield continued to improve his lap times in the opening moments of Q1, and after changing tyres and chasing down his team mate, Winfield improved in time by half a second, posting a 1:37.447, which would line him up in 25th for race one.

Q2 saw Ellison improve in time by four tenths of a second, breaking in to the 1:34 barrier, but after experiencing a lack of grip, he couldn’t improve his time and missed out on the final session by three tenths.

Following qualifying James said: “It’s not ideal, but we’re only half a second off pole and three tenths off the front row. It’s not all bad but I definitely feel there is more in me and more in the bike. I just feel we are having a few too many tyre problems at the minute, and that isn’t me looking for excuses, because of the bad tyres we’ve experienced this year. You just know when you have one, the bike feels completely different which is frustrating.

“I feel like the bike is working really well, it’s just when we get one of these tyres that moves around more, the bike doesn’t like it because the Yamaha has a stiff chassis, so it doesn’t like being out of control. I’m looking at using an SC1 tomorrow morning in warm up and seeing what we can do.”

Shaun Winfield added: “I’m happy with that, I started the session fairly steady, but I still managed to improve my time more or less straight away. I came in and we changed the tyre and I went quicker straight away, which I was really pleased with. James then came past, and he wasn’t pushing to 100 percent, but I thought ‘who better to tow me around’.  

“I upped my pace and I found another half a second following James, I’ve learnt from that and I relaxed a lot when I was following him, whereas on my own I’m rushing myself to try and make a lap time. The changes we’ve made are really positive and in the end, it was a good session.