Hydrex Bike Animal Honda rider James Ellison continued his impressive run of results by posting another pair of top ten finishes in round ten of the Bennetts British Championship at Croft today.
At the team's local round and aboard the Shaun Muir Racing Honda Fireblade, the 27 year old Cumbrian, who missed the previous round at Cadwell Park due to injury, added a seventh and a ninth place finish to his previous results this season to end up seventh in the Championship standings.
After problems during qualifying, held during mixed weather conditions, race day dawned dry with sunny intervals and Ellison was hoping to continue where he left off at Donington Park last weekend in the World Superbike meeting where he finished fourth.
However, around the fast North Yorkshire circuit, the Hydrex Bike Animal team and Ellison couldn't get the perfect set-up but despite that, he battled to ninth place in race one, and with improvements made between races, Ellison fought his way up to seventh at the end of the second 20-lap race.
Meanwhile team mate Guy Martin suffered a mixed weekend aboard the second of the team's Honda Fireblades. Having qualified on row four behind his team mate, Martin claimed an eighteenth place finish in race one but couldn't improve in the second race and he retired on lap eleven of the 20-lapper much to his disappointment.
In the Metzeler National Superstock 1000 Championship, Derbyshire rider Kieran Clarke claimed another points-scoring finish in fourteenth aboard his 1000cc Honda to end up in 22nd place in the standings.
Both Ellison and Clarke will be in action at Silverstone in two weeks time but in the meantime Martin is looking for his sixth International Gold Cup win at Oliver's Mount, Scarborough next weekend.
James Ellison: "Both races were OK except we made some slight improvements for the second one. I gave myself a lot of hard work by qualifying so far down and also I think I was looking for a perfect set-up which just wasn't there, but I think it was the same for everyone. The 'Kendal Massive' had a good turn out and its good to have people here and I'm just disappointed I couldn't have done better for them, but it's onwards and upwards."
Guy Martin: "We made a load of changes and used a different tyre and it just made things worse and I ended up really struggling. We tried to cure the problem but it didn't work so I'm really disappointed. Worse things happen at sea! Now I'm looking forward to Scarborough next week."
Kieran Clarke: "I just got settled in the middle of the pack and wasn't decisive enough. I got behind Hutchy (Ian Hutchinson) and I just settled there for too long and let some of the boys go. Once I got past him, I was pulling the guys in front but it was too late. I can go to Silverstone with some positives and I have a better feel for the bike, so we'll keep moving forwards and try to get into the top ten."
Shaun Muir (Team Owner): "Guy continued to struggle with the bike set-up and the chassis feels completely alien to him. Certain circuits work for him and others don't but we're looking forward to Scarborough with Guy. To a lesser degree James is having the same problem and it's simply a chassis problem and if James isn't comfortable he can't push it with the top riders. I'm pleased for Kieran to score some more points and he's going in the right direction. I'm just disappointed for the sponsors, bearing in mind it's our local circuit, but we've had no major incidents and now we can move on to Silverstone."
Superbike Race One Result1, Leon Camier (Ducati) 27m06.760s, 2, Leon Haslam (Honda) +2.544s, 3, Tom Sykes (Suzuki) +6.113s, 4, Cal Crutchlow (Honda) +6.366s, 5, Shane Byrne (Ducati) +6.581s, 6, Michael Rutter (Ducati) +13.889s, 7, Michael Laverty (Suzuki) +19.031s, 8, Karl Harris (Yamaha) +19.583s, 9, James Ellison (Hydrex Bike Animal Honda) +19.722s, 10, Simon Andrews (Yamaha) +24.907s, . 18, Guy Martin (Hydrex Bike Animal Honda) +46.769s.
Superbike Race Two Result1, Leon Haslam (Honda) 27m04.305s, 2, Tom Sykes (Suzuki) +1.133s, 3, Cal Crutchlow (Honda) +1.614s, 4, Shane Byrne (Ducati) +1.864s, 5, Leon Camier (Ducati) +3.740s, 6, Michael Rutter (Ducati) +9.788s, 7, James Ellison (Hydrex Bike Animal Honda) +17.037s, 8, Karl Harris (Yamaha) +18.735s, 9, Simon Andrews (Yamaha) +19.893s, 10, Michael Laverty (Suzuki) +21.857s.
Superstock 1000 Result1, Jon Kirkham (Yamaha) 21m02.750s, 2, Ben Wilson (Yamaha) +5.027s, 3, Peter Hickman (Yamaha) +5.425s, 4, Steve Brogan (Honda) +5.524s, 5, Alastair Seeley (Yamaha) +8.549s, 6, Adrian Coates (Yamaha) +10.953s, 7, Jimmy Storrar (Suzuki) +12.309s, 8, Lee Jackson (Yamaha) +14.832s, 9, Victor Cox (Yamaha) +21.294s, 10, Kenny Gilbertson (Kawasaki) +22.507s, . 14, Kieran Clarke (Hydrex Bike Animal Honda) +30.687s.
2008 Bennetts British Superbike Championship Standings after Round 101. Shane Byrne (Ducati) 388pts2. Leon Haslam (Honda) 294pts3. Tom Sykes (Suzuki) 290pts4. Cal Crutchlow (Honda) 265pts5. Leon Camier (Ducati) 241pts6. Michael Rutter (Ducati) 215pts7. James Ellison (Hydrex Bike Animal Honda) 193pts8. Michael Laverty (Suzuki) 140pts9. Simon Andrews (Yamaha) 140pts10. Karl Harris (Yamaha) 91pts18. Guy Martin (Hydrex Bike Animal Honda) 27pts
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