Fourth row start for happy Ellison at Assen

R11 Assen TAG 28-09-18 052

James Ellison will start Sunday’s opening Bennetts British Superbike race from 12thon the grid, and at the foot of the fourth row with team mate Shaun Winfield starting from 26th.

After the team re-built Shaun’s machine following a crash in FP3, he headed out on track and posted a 1:39.8, which placed him in 26thas he re-gained his confidence after a 130 mile an hour crash.

James progressed straight through into Q2 after posting a 1:36.962, however in the shorter second session the 38-year-old went six tenths faster, setting his fastest lap of the weekend.

But, he just missed out on Q3 by one tenth of a second, leaving him in 12thplace for race one.

After the session James Ellison said: “It’s always really close at Assen, although we are 12thon the grid, we’re only two tenths off third and my lap time would have put me sixth on the grid. Our lap time was fantastic, but we kept dropping down the time sheets, so I came in and put my Q3 tyre in, which most riders did I believe which is why it was so tough to get through.

“The second tyre I just couldn’t get the same amount of grip out of it and the lap time. I think I was little bit keen and asking too much on the side of the tyre and trying to push for a lap time instead of using the new rubber, I think I over-rode it.

“I feel so much more confident now with the Öhlins suspension, we still have areas to work on and we’ll look at the data to maybe pull some power out of first gear and maybe look at putting some weight on the rear. Overall I have good, consistent race pace but I’m disappointed with the grid position. But we are only two tenths off and that is nothing.”

Team mate Shaun Winfield added: “If anything I’m a really frustrated with today, I crashed right at the end of FP3 I was pushing hard to beat the flag to get another lap in, and I lost the front at one of the fastest corners on the track. So I gave my boys some work to do, which I can’t thank them enough for. 

“I kept pushing on in qualifying, but I couldn’t quite pull it all together which is really frustrating because I’ve gone quicker than I ever have before around here, and I could sense a strong qualifying. But tomorrow is a new day, we have a direction we want to go in for tomorrow and I’ll have my elbows out from the start.”