2008 Bennetts British Superbike Championship - Rounds 23 & 24 - Brands Hatch, Kent
Hydrex Bike Animal Honda rider James Ellison will start today's final two races in the 2008 Bennetts British Superbike Championship from fifth position on the grid after another exciting Swan Combi 50 Roll for Pole qualifying session at a sun-baked Brands Hatch in Kent yesterday.
Aboard the Shaun Muir Racing 1000cc Honda Fireblade Ellison, who has looked strong all weekend, proceeded to the final phase of today's qualifying session and as a result will start from row two of the grid.
However with the cambered incline of the Brands Hatch grid, Ellison reckons it's better to start from fifth than the outside of row one where riders can sometimes be at a disadvantage as he goes in search of that elusive first win of the season.
Team mate Guy Martin managed to progress to the second phase of the knock out competition to post eighteenth fastest time and will start on row five of the grid, the exact same place that team mate Kieran Clarke will start in the Metzeler Superstock 1000 race after his pair of qualifying sessions.
James Ellison: "We've made massive improvements over the bumps, I had a really vague feeling at some of the turns last time we were here but we've been making some adjustments and it's really better. I'm really, really happy and feel comfortable on the bike and I'm having fun out there. I knew I needed to work on turn one and I think we have improved there. Fifth is definitely a better place to start from than fourth around here, so I'm going to try my best for a win tomorrow and I'd like to thank all the team, especially Mick and Javier who have sorted the front forks out for me."
Guy Martin: "Of course I'd like to have been higher up but eighteenth is about where we are and at least the sun is shining. We've made some progress with the bike and hopefully we can bring it home with a couple of solid results in tomorrow's races to reward the team for their hard work."
Kieran Clarke: "I was pleased with my riding but I feel like I'm a session behind everyone else and I've left myself with a lot of work to do tomorrow. We've got a couple of things to try in morning warm up and then it will be a big push on the start and try to keep out of trouble of the first lap and there's no reason why we can't get into the top ten. Everyone has worked so hard and I'd like to finish this weekend off on a high."
Shaun Muir (Team Owner): "It would have been nice to have James on the front row but I'm happier with where he is, although his position doesn't justify how well he was riding. If that's going to be the race pace tomorrow I don't think a win is out of the question as he's got a good qualifying pace and a good race pace."
The two 30-lap Bennetts British Superbike races, with Ellison and Martin in action, take place at 2.00pm and 4.45pm and Clarke will be hoping to add to his points tally in his Metzeler Superstock 1000 race which gets underway at 12.30pm. The British Eurosport 2 live broadcast window is 12.00pm to 5.30pm.
Superbike Qualifying1, Shane Byrne (Ducati) 45.799s, 2, Leon Haslam (Honda) 46.096s, 3, Cal Crutchlow (Honda) 46.118s, 4, Tom Sykes (Suzuki) 46.201s, 5, James Ellison (Hydrex Bike Animal Honda) 46.255s, 6, Leon Camier (Ducati) 46.303s, 7, Michael Laverty (Suzuki) 46.513s, 8, Michael Rutter (Ducati) 46.518s, 9, Jon Kirkham (Yamaha) 46.560s, 10, Simon Andrews (Yamaha) 46.579s. 18, Guy Martin (Hydrex Bike Animal Honda) 47.082s.
Superstock 1000 Qualifying1, Alastair Seeley (Yamaha) 47.650s, 2, Jon Kirkham (Yamaha) 47.741s, 3, Peter Hickman (Yamaha) 47.999s, 4, Steve Brogan (Honda) 48.046s, 5, Adrian Coates (Yamaha) 48.051s, 6, Lee Jackson (Yamaha) 48.070s, 7, Marshall Neill (Honda) 48.074s, 8, Victor Cox (Yamaha) 48.092s, 9, Jimmy Storrar (Suzuki) 48.150s, 10, Ben Wilson (Yamaha) 48.152s. 18, Kieran Clarke (Hydrex Bike Animal Honda) 48.436s.
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