BSB: Ellison bags front row start in Assen

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James Ellison will start tomorrow’s opening MCE British Superbike race at Assen from the front row of the grid after a step forward with a steering problem he’s been suffering with all weekend. 

The Cumbrian had been complaining that he’d not hit an apex on Friday, but a small change to the rear of his ZX-10R enabled him to get the bike in to corners better, but he’s still finding himself going wide after touching the apex.

Nevertheless, the JG Speedfit Kawasaki man was able to outpace team-mate Leon Haslam to take second on the grid behind series leader Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne. 

Earlier in the day Ellison had dominated the fully wet final practice, at one point sitting 2.8 seconds ahead of the competition.


“I’m quite confident wet or dry,” he told MCN after the session. “We made a small change that made a big difference in the last qualifying. I’ve been struggling with steering all weekend, I’ve not been able to hit an apex and then when I do I run wide straight away! We’ve fixed one part of that but we need to focus a bit on the faster stuff as that’s where I feel we’re losing a little.

“We’ve a couple of things to try in warm-up and I want to try the harder front tyre as I lost the front a couple of times in that session. The extra support we have from the rear to fix the steering issue is just pushing the front a bit too much, so we’ll try the harder tyre to try and help that.” 

Tyre choice could prove crucial tomorrow with track temperature quite low as would be expected for this time of year.    

“If it’s cold in the morning we will experiment with the harder tyre, we know the tyre life is there we just need to see if we can do a lap time quick enough. Whereas we know we can be quick on the zero but we’re confident it won’t do race distance unless it warms up.”

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Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

Former sports reporter covering British Superbikes, World Superbikes and road racing