Ellison and Richards in Qatar 8hr

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BSB stars James Ellison and Glen Richards are spearheading the British-base Phase One assault on the Qatar 8hr on November 14, the final round of the 2009 World Endurance Championship.

Both Ellison and Richards have previously successfully ridden for the team, most notably Ellison won his WEC title in 2003.

Neither Ellison nor Richards, who rode for the team in 2007, need introduction to the Doha circuit and they are both close to the top of their form.

The pairing will be supported by team regular Pedro Valcaneras, who finished in a marvellous second place at this desert race last season, for the Spanish Folch Yamaha Team.

In the previous two Doha 8hr races Phase One featured highly, with Steve Plater and Glen Richards both leading the races, before falling and finishing outside the leading group. Ellison has not ridden endurance at the circuit, but his GP times were more than two seconds faster than the 2008 WEC pole and he’s been in superb from on the Ariwaves Yamaha R1 in BSB this season finishing runner-up in the championship.

Yamaha Phase One team manager Russell Benney said: “It’s been a difficult year for us, both on and off the track. Finishing fifth in Spain and 12th at Suzuka is creditable but we need to do better.

“The un-planned limitations to the budget meant that we could no longer offer Damian and Alex Cudlin the package we had agreed for Qatar and were forced drop them.

"That was one of my most difficult times. I feared that it would be impossible to fulfil our ambitions for the race but I was relieved when I found just how many riders wanted to do it.

“The timing of the race is perfect to showcase their talents. It is lovely to know that riders such as Ellison and Richards haven’t forgotten their good times with the team and are out for more of that success.”

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Gary Pinchin

By Gary Pinchin