James Ellison has admitted he is surprised by his day one pace on the McAMS Yamaha at this week’s Cartagena MCE British Superbike test.
While there is no official timing, Ellison is reported to have clocked a time of 1’33.2, just 0.1sec off Luke Mossey’s quickest lap after four days in 2016 and the Cumbrian’s quickest ever lap of the Spanish track.
Ellison’s pace comes as somewhat of a surprise as it comes not only as he makes his debut with the McAMS Yamaha team, but as the team roll out their YZF-R1 superbikes for the first time after they were completed at the team’s workshop last week. On top of that, the machine Ellison is riding has a modified ex-Tommy Hill Motorsport fuel tank as the team await the arrival of the factory tank as well as the swinging arm and linkage.
“It’s been really good today, which is quite surprising!” he confessed. “I got on the bike at first and felt quite uncomfortable as the footrests were too high, the seat was too low and we haven’t got the fuel tank we’re running next year and that doesn’t match with the seat so I was expecting it to be hard work!
“I knew I’d feel comfortable on it as the Yamaha suits my style a lot better. I had to adapt my style from the high corner speed R1 when I switched manufacturer three years ago and I had three great years with them, but I always felt I was compensating in some way but now I feel at home again.
“As the day went on, we made progress and tried to get comfortable and that was the plan for today really before really getting started tomorrow but the times kept coming down! Towards the end of the day, we made a few changes with the bike to work on a few little issues I was having like when I tip in the engine braking is locking up as we’re running a standard clutch, and when we’d done that I managed the best lap I’ve ever done around Cartagena. That’s mega, especially as we’ve still got a few parts to come including the factory tank and swingarm, so there’s definitely more potential!”
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