2008 Bennetts British Superbike Championship Rounds 19 & 20 - Croft, North Yorkshire
After rain affected the opening couple of sessions, Hydrex Bike Animal Honda rider James Ellison eventually posted tenth fastest time when the sun finally did break out at Croft for qualifying for round ten of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship yesterday.
Aboard the 1000cc Shaun Muir Racing Honda Fireblade, Ellison was fastest for most of this morning's free practice session and was confident going into the Swan Combi 50 Roll for Pole qualifying session.
Making his way into the final ten minute session in tenth position, Ellison couldn't improve and as a result will start from row three of the grid for tomorrow's two races at the team's local circuit.
Team mate Guy Martin will start a row further back having posted fourteenth fastest time during the afternoon session.
He just squeezed in to the second part of qualifying in twentieth position and was delighted to improve to fourteenth at the end of the session.
In the Metzeler Superstock 1000cc class Kieran Clarke recorded sixteenth position and as a result will start tomorrow's 15-lap race from row four of the grid whereby he hopes to add to the points he scored in two of the previous rounds since he joined the team mid season.
James Ellison: "We still haven't got the set-up right. We're not a million miles off but we really need to be up in the top four in qualifying to do the job in the race. We're losing quite a bit of time in a few of the sectors so we've got a bit of work to do on the set-up to try and get a good lap together, but we'll get there."
Guy Martin: "We seem to have the same problem with certain corners wherever we go and I think we've made a bit of a breakthrough with the way we need to go. Fourteenth isn't spectacular but it's OK for me and I always go better in the race. Everyone's working really well and if we carry on in the same direction then I think we'll cure it."
Kieran Clarke: "We're just really pushing now for getting on the first two or three rows so fourth row isn't where we want to be. Every weekend there seems to be something that crops up and forces us into a mistake or lack of improvement and it just makes the race more difficult. I'll just have to try and get a good start and pick my way through them but it will be hard work. Everyone's worked fantastically and I just need to try and make my bit up in the race."
Shaun Muir (Team Owner): "James is struggling to find a good set-up but Guy rode pretty well and got a good qualifying position for him. Being over a second away from pole is uncharacteristic of James so hopefully he can rely on a good start and get away with the front boys."
The first of the two 20-lap Bennetts British Superbike races gets underway at 1.15pm on Sunday with the second at 3.35pm. The Metzeler Superstock 1000 race is scheduled for 5.05pm. The British Eurosport 2 live broadcast window is 12.30pm to 5.00pm.
Superbike Qualifying1, Cal Crutchlow (Honda) 1m20.386s, 2, Michael Rutter (Ducati) 1m20.597s, 3, Shane Byrne (Ducati) 1m20.663s, 4, Leon Haslam (Honda) 1m20.706s, 5, Tom Sykes (Suzuki) 1m20.787s, 6, Leon Camier (Ducati) 1m20.802s, 7, Karl Harris (Yamaha) 1m20.950s, 8, Michael Laverty (Suzuki) 1m21.029s, 9, Gary Mason (Honda) 1m21.379s, 10, James Ellison (Hydrex Bike Animal Honda) 1m21.447s.. 14, Guy Martin (Hydrex Bike Animal Honda) 1m22.439s.
Superstock 1000 Qualifying1, Jon Kirkham (Yamaha) 1m22.828s, 2, Steve Brogan (Honda) 1m23.517s, 3, Peter Hickman (Yamaha) 1m23.857s, 4, Ben Wilson (Yamaha) 1m24.017s, 5, Jimmy Storrar (Suzuki) 1m24.107s, 6, Adrian Coates (Yamaha) 1m24.284s. 16, Kieran Clarke (Hydrex Bike Animal Honda) 1m25.234s
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