Sorrymate.com SMT Honda is celebrating its first MCE British Superbike Championship podium in more than five years of trying after James Ellison turned in a star performance at the Brands Hatch finale.
The former BSB runner-up joined the team mid-season to run alongside his full-time campaign in the World Supersport Championship, but his best finish heading into the final round of the year was a seventh place at Donington Park.
Nonetheless, Ellison was on the pace throughout the Brands Hatch weekend and found himself become an integral part of the 2011 BSB title fight with Tommy Hill and John Hopkins as he battled with them in each of the three races.
Finishing fifth in the first race after applying lengthy pressure to Hill, Ellison found himself in a similar position in race two as he came across the same rider in the fight for third. Admitting to considering his options as he battled with the title contender, Ellison eventually made his pass on the final lap to snatch a podium result.
Going on to finish fourth in race three after becoming embroiled in Hill and Hopkins's intense title tussle, Ellison was thrilled with his strong set of results.
"I did promise Robin [Croft, team manager] a podium and whilst it took us a couple more meetings longer than anticipated, it feels like the best one I've ever had! The amount of effort that this team puts into their racing is unbelievable and if anyone deserves success it's them so to give them a podium feels absolutely awesome.
“A few people criticised me after the first race for getting involved with the Championship contenders but we've been striving for good results all season and were simply doing the best for ourselves and our sponsors.
“I'm pleased my results didn't affect the outcome and it was just brilliant to be involved with such great battles. Shakey had too much for me in the last race but I can't complain about anything - three top-five finishes and a first ever podium is simply superb."
SMT Honda's best-ever result at BSB level, Croft was delighted to see his rider standing on the podium for the first time in five years.