Hydrex Bike Animal Honda rider James Ellison defied the torrential wet conditions to record a superb top ten placing in the opening qualifying session for round eleven of the Hannspree World Superbike Championship meeting at Donington Park today.
The 27 year old from Kendal is riding at the meeting as one of four British wild cards and during the wet weather session was running as high as sixth before dropping down the order but with a concerted push towards the end of the session, he managed to claim top ten position aboard the 1000cc Honda Fireblade going into tomorrow's second qualifying session.
Ellison, who scored a fifth and sixth position result on his last wild card ride at Brands Hatch in 2004, will be hoping to claim a decent Superpole position which sets the grid for Sunday's two races.
James Ellison: "I'm delighted with that placing and I know there's more to come and we had a couple of problems in that session. We decided to use the BSB motor as opposed to the WSB spec engine but I can revert to the faster one if I need, and also we had a minor problem with the rear suspension unit. Top ten is where we need to be and I'm confident we can run even higher especially if it's dry."
Shaun Muir (Team Owner): "I'm pleased with the way it's gone today and James has ridden very well. It's always difficult knowing where to pitch your expectations but I think we should be delighted with a top ten placing at this early stage and we're feeling strong for the rest of the weekend."
Superbike Qualifying - 1st Session
1, T Bayliss (Ducati) 1m44.377s, 2, R Kiyonari (Honda) 1m44.528s, 3, C Crutchlow (Honda) 1m44.627s, 4, T Sykes (Suzuki) 1m44.682s, 5, L Haslam (Honda) 1m44.813s, 6, M Biaggi (Ducati) 1m45.384s, 7, R Xaus (Ducati) 1m45.725s, 8, C Checa (Honda) 1m45.936s, 9, G Lavilla (Honda) 1m46.044s, 10, J Ellison (Hydrex Bike Animal Honda) 1m46.392s.