24 July 2013
James Ellison - Q&A
This is the annoying thing because he helps a lot of people out, he really does, and he's helped me out in the past. He's loyal to the people who've worked for him for a long time and those people love working for him and I've always respected him for that. I lost that respect when I rode for him though.
Also one thing I will always be grateful to him for is when Birdy heard - from my Dad's best friend - in Misano after the race that my Dad was getting really ill and it might be good for me to go home. He did everything in his power and spent a fortune getting me and Sarah back the very next day.
I got home and he was half the size of when I last saw him. The first thing he said when I asked him why he didn't tell me how ill he was, was..."go look at your MBX80, I've finished it!" with a huge grin on his face. A day later he was gone and believe me I will forever be grateful to Birdy for that precious moment.
If he doesn't like you or something you've done though, he's the worst person in the world to work for, ever. Maybe it's because I'm not a push over, very passionate about my racing and wasn't prepared to take it when he was badmouthing me in the press. He's just too powerful and not many people talk back to him.
You were paid to the end of the season though?
Yeah, took me a while to get it, but yeah.
You're in happier pastures with Shaun Muir now then?
Yeah, the feedback with Shaun's mega, he's 110% behind you all the time, but likewise if you're not riding right he'll tell you. That's what you need, I don't mind people telling me I'm riding shit when I'm riding shit.
Before Snetterton, Shaun called a meeting and I drove up three hours to get there. It was more or less to try and get some input to help Josh, and that's a team that. We could have just left Josh to it or I could have phoned Shaun to say that I wasn't bothered about coming up, but we all chip in and have mutual respect for each other. We all have an equal amount of say. We spent ages going through the data together and I think it helped Josh get a great result at Snetterton.
So where can you get better wages - AMA, BSB, WSS, WSBK or MotoGP?
It depends on the sponsor, but you're more likely to get good wages in WSBK if you're a decent foreign rider with pedigree. You'll do well because you're good for the championship and Dorna helps out. If Nicky Hayden for example wanted to come over now, he'd probably get as much in WSBK as in MotoGP - in the millions.
AMA used to be the place to be, but that's all gone now because there's no sponsorship from factories involved.
BSB can be good, I get an average wage for anybody working nine to five really, having said that though, you have a lot of expenses out of that which is why you need sponsors. I've got SRS rail systems and xpresscoffeeuk who've been helping me out for three years now and I couldn't get by without them.
You've got front-running pace this year in BSB, but you've had a lot of inconsistency, why is that?
Yeah, there's nothing wrong with the bike, pace wise we're top four every weekend. When I've finished ninth like at this weekend [interview recorded after Snetterton], I came from dead last for various reasons, I didn't finish ninth from the front, I was recovering from a problem so speed wise that's nothing to worry about. Where we've been inconsistent, it's really just been down to bad luck.
What happened at Snetterton?
It was the wheel speed sensor. We got away well in third and then the pace car came out. As soon as the pace car pulled in, we all set off to start the lap and mine wouldn't go into gear. I tried to get round a lap, but the bike was spluttering and wouldn't change gear and I wanted to pull over and turn the bike off to reset it. I did that and it didn't make any difference so I tried to carry on to get some points. The bike was awful to ride with no gears and having to shut the throttle off all the time to change gear.
How would you compare the Yamaha to the other bikes on the grid?
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