The sixth round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship proved to be one of the lesser successful qualifying sessions for Hydrex Bike Animal Honda riders James Ellison and Guy Martin at Mallory Park today.
At the 1.41 mile compact Leicestershire oval, the pair couldn't take advantage of the unusually dry conditions for once at the end of the Swan Combi 50 Roll for Pole qualifying session.
Experimenting with a new traction control system, 27 year old Ellison ended up in 15th position and will start tomorrow's two, 30-lap races from row four of the grid.
However it was even worse for 26 year old Martin whose best time of 58.486s only qualified him in 24th position and as a result he will start from the sixth row of the grid in tomorrow's races.
James Ellison: "It was another bad qualifying position. We were trying out the traction control on the second bike but we haven't got a base setting for it yet so its just been like a test day really. Half way through the session I jumped on the bike I've been using all year and immediately went quicker, but then I couldn't get a clear track as the track is so small you just can't get past anyone. I now need to decide which bike to use tomorrow, so I'll have to sleep on it. I'm just disappointed as to where we've qualified."
Guy Martin: "We're still fine tuning the bike. I felt I was really pushing the front end but I seem to be going against a brick wall even though I feel like I'm really riding the wheels off it. I think we just need to do some work for the morning warm up, and I need to make it count on the start so I can get some points this weekend. Points make prizes, don't they."
Shaun Muir (Team Owner): "Both riders haven't relished coming here. James can't quite get used to riding so close to the barriers and his confidence has suffered a bit. Both James and Guy have a lot of hard work to do tomorrow but if James can get a characteristically good start there's no reason why he can't come in the top six and get some points in the bag."
The first of the two 30-lap races gets underway at 1.15pm on Sunday with the second at 4.20pm. The British Eurosport live broadcast window is 1.00pm to 2.30pm and 3.30pm to 5.15pm.
1, Tom Sykes (Suzuki) 56.005s, 2, Michael Laverty (Suzuki) 56.109s, 3, Shane Byrne (Ducati) 56.127s, 4, Cal Crutchlow (Honda) 56.135s, 5, Leon Haslam (Honda) 56.234s, 6, Michael Rutter (Ducati) 56.336s, 7, Karl Harris (Yamaha) 56.435s, 8, Tristan Palmer (Honda) 56.494s, 9, John Laverty (Ducati) 56.534s, 10, Billy McConnell (Kawasaki) 56.535s. 15, James Ellison (Hydrex Bike Animal Honda) 56.941s. 24, Guy Martin (Hydrex Bike Animal Honda) 58.486s.
Photograph attached courtesy of Turn One Photography.
Round 2 - 18th/20th April - Thruxton, Hants
Round 3 - 3rd/5th May - Oulton Park, Cheshire
Round 1 - 10th/11th May - Brands Hatch GP, Kent
Round 4 - 24th/26th May - Donington Park, Leics
Round 5 - 13th/15th June - Snetterton, Norfolk
Round 6 - 27th/29th June - Mallory Park
Round 7 - 18th/20th July - Oulton Park, Cheshire
Round 8 - 8th/10th August - Knockhill, Fife
Round 9 - 23rd/25th August - Cadwell Park, Lincs
Round 10 - 12th/14th September - Croft, North Yorkshire
Round 11 - 26th/28th September, Silverstone, Northants
Round 12 - 10th/12th October - Brands Hatch Indy, Kent