Milwaukee Yamaha Showdown contender James Ellison headed to Knockhill for the fourth round of the British Superbike Championships with high hopes after his recent run of good results at Oulton Park and Snetterton.
|Tough weekend for Milwaukee Yamaha in Scotland
Photo: Milwaukee Yamaha
Things began to look ominous after Fridays damp Free Practice session and Saturdays Extreme Qualifying when Ellison only managed to make it to 13th place in Q2 and missing out on a guaranteed top ten start after falling short of the cut off for Q3. Ellison posting a best time 0.8s off eventual Pole man Shane Byrne, leaving himself plenty to do at the tight Scottish circuit.
Race one started brightly for the Cumbrian as he made up places from his lowly start, picking riders off one by one whilst looking for clear track to post a fast lap time to move him up the grid for race 2. Seventh place at the flag wasn’t what Ellison hoped for and set about to make amends from an improved starting position of 8th on the grid for race 2. Sadly his progression was cut short as he took avoiding action to miss the rear of Chris Walkers Kawasaki at turn 2, losing the front of his Yamaha R1 in the process and sliding out of contention.
Team mate to Ellison, double Australian Superbike Champion Josh Waters again struggled to get to grips with the Yamaha at the smallest circuit on the calendar finishing nineteenth in race one and retiring in race 2 despite his and his crews best effort to take some positive results onwards to Snetterton.
A dejected Ellison said “It has been a disappointing weekend for me. I came here with bags of confidence after our run of good results and a nice break where I kept busy on the MX bike to stay bike fit, but despite that, things just didn’t click for us from the start. At this level you cannot afford to be on the back foot. I tried my hardest in race one but from thirteenth on the grid at a tight circuit like Knockhill, seventh was all we could do. As for race two, with starting from eighth on the grid, I knew if I got in the top five on lap one I could push with the front four so I made a great start. Going into turn two I was tight on the inside curb when Chris (Walker) seemed to just stop mid turn and I hit the back of his bike. I’m gutted for the whole Milwaukee Yamaha team as we shouldn’t be fighting just for top seven finishes. We will group together and test before Snetterton to make sure this doesn’t happen again. It’s just a blip, we will be back!”
Waters said “It really has been a tough weekend for me and although we have worked through some changes to try and help it just hasn’t come together. I obviously feel disappointed for the Milwaukee Yamaha team because we were hoping that this weekend we could turn things around to give us a bit of a boost. Hopefully we can test before Snetterton again as we want to be moving up the order as it is so important now to be scoring good points to try and make the Showdown.”