Racing knowledge: What Ellison learned from last season in BSB

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James Ellison has raised his game in the past year and reckons that that even though he finished runner-up in the series, we've far from seen the best of him.

Here's what he learned from last season in British Superbikes:   

No two bikes are identical
“Everyone said I rode well at Silverstone but the bike was unchanged from Croft. Most tracks we wasted Fridays adapting it. Colin always said our bikes were identical.  But after the season finished Frankie (Carchedi), Leon’s crew chief, admitted we didn’t get all the information. He used to spend hours fine-tuning Leon’s electronics for the smoothest possible power delivery. Even Colin didn’t know!”

Don’t mess with set-up
“We had a brand new bike but never went testing. I wasn’t allowed to change the bike either so that taught me how to ride around problems. If there was a corner where we had too much weight on the front, then I learned to shift my body weight back. It made me think about things a lot more.”

The R1 was not perfect
“People spoke highly of the R1s and Leon was consistently fast all year. But Stuart showed how good the Honda could be – and so did Josh Brookes. The Yamaha didn’t stop, didn’t steer and wasn’t particularly fast. What it did was join the dots in long fast corners.  On a clear track it was a great package but in traffic it lacked punch.”

Do your own thing
“I used to look at their times and worry where the other guys were going faster than me.  Then I’d waste time on track looking to follow them and pick up their good places. But, once I realised you can only change what you are in control of, I set about concentrating on improving my own times. That gave me much more confidence.”

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Gary Pinchin

By Gary Pinchin