Challenging qualifying for Anvil Hire TAG Racing at Oulton Park
James Ellison and Shaun Winfield will start Sunday’s opening Bennetts British Superbike race at Oulton Park from 16thand 22ndrespectively after a challenging qualifying session for the pair.
Rain prior to the three-tier session forced the team to change to wet settings, but with just minutes remaining before the riders we due out on track, the surface dried meaning the team changed the setup back to a dry setting.
After pitting for a change of tyres, Ellison posted a strong enough lap time to send him straight through to Q2.
After leaving pit-lane late due to his team working hard to change the setting of his machine, Shaun pitted again to change to dry tyres.
The 25-year-old quickly got his head down, although after his first flying lap he just missed out on a second lap, which meant he would qualify in 22ndfor Sunday’s opening race.
Q2 saw Ellison struggle after making a change which saw the Cumbrian fail to improve in time, however with a lack of time left on the clock, the team couldn’t change the setting, leaving Ellison to qualify in 16th.
After the session a frustrated James Ellison said: “We thought we were making headway this weekend, but we went in the wrong direction for qualifying, which was disappointing.
“We’ve been making steady progress all weekend, we’ve been given more support from K-Tech and we had a good start. Everything was working well, and the extra support helped with that, but again we hit a brick wall. We found a little bit more traction on track, which is great, but we still have an issue, although it’s only slight.
“I was 0.6 off pole in FP3, we just made a slight change for qualifying, it made a huge difference but in the wrong way. We went totally in the wrong direction, I was losing a lot of time, but we didn’t have enough time left on the clock to change it back.
“When we do make an improvement to the bike we go faster almost immediately, within one lap, but when we go backwards with the setup, we go slower, it’s just a balancing act. The bike was working well in the wet, and I was only 0.4 off on Friday afternoon, but everyone wants a dry race because we want to keep moving forward.”
Shaun Winfield added: “The rain caused a few issues for us, we set the bike up for the wet conditions but then it started to dry up, so we had to change it back. We were a little bit late leaving pit lane and I lost time there, I should have come in a lap before I did really, but I went back out and I didn’t reach the flag in time to get another lap in.
“But it is what it is, I have to take it on the chin and get a good start tomorrow. I’ve got to say a big thanks to my side of the garage, they worked around the clock to get me out in qualifying and I want to bring home points for them tomorrow.”