BSB: Ellison: 'I think I nearly crashed 18 times!'

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James Ellison has said he thinks he crashed nearly 18 times on his way to pole position in treacherous qualifying conditions at Assen today.

The McAMS Yamaha star skated around the slippery Dutch circuit to clinch pole by less than a tenth over rival Leon Haslam.

However, the Cumbrian is hoping for decent conditions in morning warm-up session after a tough day in the dry on Friday leaves him unhappy with his dry set-up ahead of tomorrow’s two races with no rain presently forecast.


“It was a good session,” he said. “We haven’t had great pace in the wet this season so I was a little dubious when I saw what the conditions were like. We made some big steps this morning and then a few tiny changes in Superpole, small tweaks like lowering the handlebars and all of a sudden it just worked.

“It was pretty slippery out there, there were a lot of crashes! It was pretty close to being unsafe to ride so to come out with a pole position I’m peaking! I was pushing on quite a bit, I was definitely on my limit. I think I nearly crashed about 18 times on that lap!

“It’s good to be starting from pole position on what will hopefully be a dry race, although we could do with a bit of time in warm-up to work on the bike as we went the wrong way in the dry yesterday. If I start on pole blind at the minute I’ll just go backwards.”

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Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

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