James Ellison believes there is no reason why he cannot target victory on his debut with the GSE Racing team during the opening round of the British Superbike Championship, despite heading to Brands Hatch having not yet ridden the Airwaves Yamaha R1.
Ellison joins the reigning BSB champions as they switch from Ducati to Yamaha machinery in 2009, but while the new R1 has already proven its mettle on the world stage, a delay in getting parts from Yamaha mean Ellison's first time on the bike will be during the official free practice on Friday.
Nonetheless, while Ellison accepts that the team is likely to be playing catch up for the remainder of the weekend, he is refusing to rule out the possibility that they can still turn in a race-winning performance come Easter Monday.
“We have a lot of information from the Yamaha factory, so it shouldn't be too difficult to get up to speed – it's just a case of me and Leon blowing the cobwebs off basically,” he told Crash.net Radio
. “It is difficult for the first couple of sessions, but after that we should be fine.
“Everything is there. This is GSE Racing's home race, so we have the right team, the right bike and myself and Leon are physically prepared for it, so there is no reason as to why we can't do it. We might just be a little bit slow to start off with.”
Although new team-mate Leon Camier told Crash.net Radio
that he was playing down his title hopes this year by virtue of having a new bike to develop, former MotoGP rider Ellison is much more confident about his chances.
“I'd like to see myself as a favourite,” he added. “I have told Colin [Wright] that I think I can do it, and he does too. You need self-belief - it isn't about being big-headed or arrogant. I have worked really hard in my career to win championships, but I have always wanted the British Superbike Champonship and I think I can do it with this team. I have been working my backside off this winter to ensure this dream comes true.”