Britain’s James Ellison saw his successful run of four consecutive points scoring rides come to an abrupt halt when he crashed out of round ten of the MotoGP World Championship at Mazda Laguna Seca at the weekend.
Aboard the PBMUK Aprilia, the 31 year old from Kendal was hoping to improve on his 16th place in the standings as well as the tenth place which the Penrith-based team held in the Team Championship but after a promising start in FP1, which saw him improve to 16th in FP3, qualifying once again proved difficult leaving James down in 21st position and last of the official qualifiers.
With the technical issues he experienced in qualifying sorted, Ellison got a great start and was running with the leading group of CRT machines around the short and twisty Californian circuit when with just 13 laps to go and battling inside the points once more, the Cumbrian slid off without injury.
Despite the setback, James remains 16th in the standings although the PBMUK team dropped a place to 11th going into a short break which will see the next round also take place in the USA, this time at the legendary Indianapolis circuit on August 19th.
James Ellison: “I’m really disappointed that we couldn’t carry on the string of points scoring results especially when we have come all this way to the USA. The weekend started out really strong for us in FP1 and showed we had good pace but we have been plagued with a quickshifter problem all weekend which has been causing me a lot of issues on the track, mainly missing the apexes as it would over accelerate on down shifts. Aprilia managed to fix it by the warm up and we were confident of a strong race again so my hopes were high for a good result. I got a good start and had a good few battles including lapping consistently under my qualifying time but that unfortunately came to an abrupt end when I pushed a little too hard into Turn 3 and folded the front under braking. I was pushing hard to make up for our poor grid position and just crossed that fine line of where there is grip and where there is none. I’m so disappointed for the whole PBMUK team but we will come out fighting at Indy for sure.”
Paul Bird, Team Owner: “As James said, it was a long way for nothing and it’s disappointing we couldn’t get to the finish. There were only 14 finishers and we weren’t one of them. We have a short break now and during that time, we need to work on our game to make sure that when we arrive at Indy, there are no excuses from either the bike or the rider as I’m looking for some improvements all round in the final few races of the season as already our thoughts are turning to next season.”
For more information, please visit www.pbmuk.net and www.motogp.com
Images attached courtesy of Ben Davies www.SMARTFotos.co.uk & Gold and Goose www.goldandgoose.com.