James Ellison continued his busy testing schedule for the American Superbike championship with a two day, rain-hit shakedown test at Fontana.
Onboard the Corona Extra Honda CBR1000RR, Ellison benefited from new electronics and concentrated on data acquisition before his full electronics package, including traction control, arrives in time for the opening race in Daytona on 10th March.
“As far as lap times went we did pretty well, considering what we were there for. We’re just running around on pretty hard race tyres to get the telemetry and the bike set up, so the times are pretty good to be honest, a 1m:27.1s.”
Ellison will get the full EFI traction control system as used by the DFX Honda team of Steve Martin and Michel Fabrizio in WSB next month.
Given his MotoGP experience over the last two years Ellison will arguably be the rider with the most experience of advanced electronics in the AMA paddock.
“We’ve got all the sensors, so we can measure the rear suspension, throttle position, all that kind of stuff, but there’s so much scope. It’s quite interesting just learning all the bits because obviously the bikes I’ve been riding for the last couple of years have had everything’s on it and you just take it for granted. Now we’re just kind of picking little bits up and just improving the bike by tiny amounts each time we go out, which is good.”
"Once the system is in place we’re hoping that’s probably going to be one of our biggest advantages to be honest, once it’s all set-up and running. But we haven’t actually tried the traction control yet."
"We need to get out for a test day. We’re hoping to have a test on it before Daytona, but I think it’s not very likely, which is a shame. There is a lot of work involved into it and I’m hoping it will be worth the wait.”
“I actually prefer not to run traction control, but obviously sometimes you have to bite the bullet and do it just to save the tyres and stop the thing from running wide or to keep the wheelies under control. Traction control helps this so it does have its advantages.”
Reigning AMA Superbike champion Ben Spies topped the Fontana test with a 1m24.2s onboard his factory Yoshimura Suzuki.