James Ellison has accepted that his challenge for a debut British Superbike title is over despite another podium finish at TT Circuit Assen.
The Cumbrian showed impressive pace across practice and qualifying, securing a front row and fighting for the lead in both of Sunday’s races, but was only able to walk away with a best result of third in the opening race after an issue with chatter and a last lap incident with Dan Linfoot saw him drop back to seventh in the second encounter.
Now 73 points off the title lead with just 75 points up for grabs, Ellison’s shot at the title is all but dead and he admits his goal is now to secure third in the series.
“After that result we aren’t going to finish any higher up than third unless the other two sit out the rest of the season! It’s heartbreaking for me as I genuinely believe if we had sorted the throttle connection issue sooner we’d still be fighting for the championship next weekend but we lost too many points mid-season and found the solution too late.”
“I don’t know what I’ve got to do to win a race. I’m trying my hardest, 110% but there’s just something missing. I don’t have the feeling I want to be able to push in the last few laps and put the bike where I want it.
Determined to clinch that first victory of the season, Ellison has suggested he might not be open to helping team-mate Leon Haslam in the fight for the title should the JG Speedfit Kawasaki squad impose team orders on him at the final round.
“There might well be team orders at Brands but whether I’ll listen to them or not is a different story! I’ve got to think about my own race, I haven’t won one this year and I want to, plus I’m still fighting for third in the championship. I don’t believe there should be any team orders as a race is a race but we’ll see what happens.”
With the future of the JG Speedfit squad in doubt, it appears Ellison has accepted he’s moving on in 2017 and is believed to have two solid options on the table.
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