Le Mans MotoGP: James Ellison finishes top CRT
James Ellison finished top CRT rider in Le Mans yesterday (Sunday), just two weeks after wondering whether he would even be starting the French Grand Prix.
A tough start to 2012 caused by a chronic chatter issue with his Aprilia ART machine saw team boss Paul Bird threaten to axe him for Le Mans and draft in the team’s number one BSB rider Shane Byrne.
Clear the air talks though ensured Ellison kept his place and he delivered his best result of the new 1000cc premier class era with an 11th place finish.
The Cumbrian took 11th from CRT rival Mattia Pasini on lap 25 and then kept the Italian at bay to score his first MotoGP points since he was 14th in the final round of 2006 at Valencia.
He told MCN: “The whole thing with Paul was just one of those things. I know what he is like but people on the outside don't. I agree with him being annoyed but it was unfortunate that he told people on national TV. He is the boss so he can do what he wants.
"It has been frustrating for everybody but I totally understand why he has been frustrated. He’s put a lot of money into the team and the results weren’t there but that was nothing to do with me not being motivated. Hopefully we can have a steady progression from now on.
"We made a really good breakthrough with the chatter in Le Mans thanks to some help from Aprilia. We could have a look at some of Randy de Puniet’s data and all weekend we didn’t have an issue. The result gives the whole team and me a lift and hopefully this is the start of a good run.”
See the May 23 issue of MCN for more coverage of the French Grand Prix.