2008 Bennetts British Superbike Championship -Rounds 13 & 14 - Oulton Park, Cheshire =-19th/20th July 2008
Following on from his superb podium finish at the same track back in May, Hydrex Bike Animal Honda rider James Ellison repeated the feat when he took the 1000cc Shaun Muir Racing Honda Fireblade to another second position at Oulton Park in Cheshire today.
Starting from row two on the grid, the 27 year old from Kendal in Cumbria made some radical changes to his bike overnight and in the early stages of the opening race, led the field as he mixed it up with the Championship front runners. Going into the final laps, he was well placed but eventually had to settle for second place as the handling of his bike deteriorated.
In the second race, once again Ellison made a great start to run in fifth position in the early stages before consolidating his position to end up fifth at the flag and in doing so recorded his best points haul of the seven rounds held so far this season. The net result is that Ellison lies in sixth in the Championship going into the next round at Knockhill in three weeks' time.
For team mate Guy Martin, a disappointing qualifying performance didn't help the 26 year old from Kirmington in Lincolnshire, who also made some radical improvements to his machine before today's two races, and he gave a much better account of himself in the two 18-lap races.
Whilst set for a points finish in the opening race he retired on the final lap with an electrical problem and in race two he was unlucky to miss out on the points after battling for the lower leaderboard places.
Superstock 1000 team rider Kieran Clarke followed up a seventeenth place finish yesterday with a fine points-scoring fifteenth position today on his debut for the team leaving him and team boss Shaun Muir pleased with the weekend's work.
James Ellison: "I'm disappointed with the second race but obviously pleased with the first one, and I wish they'd been the other way round really. We've scored the most points we've scored all year in one weekend and we're getting closer to moving up the Championship and not that far away from the top three now, and for a private team we've got to be happy with that. I'm really happy with the way the team has worked and full credit to them this weekend."
Guy Martin: "In the first race, I had an electrical problem on the last lap and had to pull in which was unfortunate as I was lying in fifteenth place. I'm still having some problems with the bike but hopefully our luck will turn soon. When the going gets tough, the tough get going."
Shaun Muir (Team Owner): "I'm delighted with James in the first race and I'm happy with the weekend overall. We've scored our best points haul for the season which puts us in contention for the top three in the Championship. I feel we've made progress developing the bike to another level. Guy's problems have unfortunately continued this weekend with the electrical problem in the first race but I'm pleased with Kieran with a top twenty yesterday, and a points score in fifteenth today and now its roll on Knockhill."
Kieran Clarke: "I'm just steadily building up and it's just a shame I was starting from so far back on the grid and had to pass so many people. I had to really weigh up the corners with me being a bit rusty on the bike but next time I should be a lot further up the grid and I'm hoping for a top ten at Knockhill."
Superbike Race One Result1, Tom Sykes (Suzuki) 29:12.165s, 2, James Ellison (Hydrex Bike Animal Honda) +4.779s, 3, Shane Byrne (Ducati) +5.089s, 4, Leon Haslam (Honda) +14.336s, 5, Simon Andrews (Yamaha) +25.518s, 6, Cal Crutchlow (Honda) +31.402s, 7, Michael Rutter (Ducati) +36.383s, 8, Billy McConnell (Kawasaki) +38.630s, 9, Michael Laverty (Suzuki) +48.039s, 10, John Laverty (Ducati) 48.596s.
Superbike Race Two Result1, Tom Sykes (Suzuki) 29:04.554s, 2, Cal Crutchlow (Honda) +0.097s, 3, Shane Byrne (Ducati) +0.619s, 4, Leon Haslam (Honda) +1.265s, 5, James Ellison (Hydrex Bike Animal Honda) +11.649s, 6, Simon Andrews (Yamaha) +25.255s, 7, Michael Laverty (Suzuki) +26.498s, 8, Scott Smart (Kawasaki) +26.949s, 9, Karl Harris (Yamaha) +31.189s, 10, Billy McConnell (Kawasaki) +31.221. 18, Guy Martin (Hydrex Bike Animal Honda) +58.552
2008 Bennetts British Superbike Championship Standings after Round 71. Shane Byrne (Ducati) 312pts2. Cal Crutchlow (Honda) 213pts3. Tom Sykes (Suzuki) 176pts4. Leon Haslam (Honda) 174pts5. Leon Camier (Ducati) 160pts6. James Ellison (Hydrex Bike Animal Honda) 150pts7. Michael Rutter (Ducati) 141pts8. Michael Laverty (Suzuki) 100pts9. Simon Andrews (Yamaha) 90pts10. Tristan Palmer (Honda) 64pts17. Guy Martin (Hydrex Bike Animal Honda) 19pts
Round 2 - 18th/20th April - Thruxton, HantsRound 3 - 3rd/5th May - Oulton Park, CheshireRound 1 - 10th/11th May - Brands Hatch GP, KentRound 4 - 24th/26th May - Donington Park, LeicsRound 5 - 13th/15th June - Snetterton, NorfolkRound 6 - 27th/29th June - Mallory ParkRound 7 - 18th/20th July - Oulton Park, CheshireRound 8 - 8th/10th August - Knockhill, FifeRound 9 - 23rd/25th August - Cadwell Park, LincsRound 10 - 12th/14th September - Croft, North YorkshireRound 11 - 26th/28th September, Silverstone, NorthantsRound 12 - 10th/12th October - Brands Hatch Indy, Kent