The 2008 Bennetts British Superbike Championship heads into the second half of the season this weekend with a return visit to Oulton Park in Cheshire and following on from a superb showing there back in May, the Hydrex Bike Animal Honda team is hoping for more silverware.
Back then, 27 year old Kendal rider James Ellison scored an historic second place for the Shaun Muir Racing Team behind runaway series leader Shane Byrne in a race that saw a high attrition rate due to the damp conditions but the ex MotoGP rider, who has been one of the revelations of the season on his return to BSB, is confident ahead of his local race.
"I'm really looking forward to Oulton this weekend and a win isn't out of the question. That's what I'm aiming for as we have improved the bike considerably since our last visit. I just hope it's dry as that way, it's a true reflection on a result rather than being gifted places by people falling down. We're continuing to develop the electronics package on the bike and the plan is to top the timesheets all weekend long" said James.
For team mate Guy Martin, it's been a less than successful season with just the one top ten placing in BSB but the 26 year old from Kirmington in Lincolnshire arrives at Oulton after taking a victory at last week's Southern 100 on the Isle of Man so is feeling confident.
"It's not been the best of seasons on the short circuits so far, has it? Last time at Oulton, I claimed a top twelve but we had a problem in race two when James got his podium but that's racing. I've got the monkey off my back with the win at the Southern 100 so hopefully my luck is changing and my season can start here. If life deals you lemons, you make lemonade, that's what I say."
Team Owner Shaun Muir is also upbeat ahead of the weekend. "We always enjoy going to Oulton Park and the fact that James got a tremendous result there for us last time can only be good for our confidence. I'm optimistic we can pull it off this weekend as we've done a lot more work on the bikes in recent weeks and I see no reason why James can't be up there again. Guy's had a lot on his plate over these past couple of months but hopefully the win last week will inspire him here this weekend and we can see his true short circuit form."
In addition to both Ellison and Martin on the Superbikes, the team will have a third rider starting this weekend for the remainder of the season.
Former Yamaha R6 Cup and BSB star Kieran Clarke will be reunited with his former team aboard the 1000cc Honda Fireblade on which he will compete in the Metzeler National Superstock 1000cc race for the team.
Clarke, from Langley Mill, Notts, has had a couple of seasons out but the former teenage starlet returns to competitive action and will be looking for a good result.