Former British Superbike Championship runner-up James Ellison says he cannot wait to make his full-scale return to the series at Brands Hatch this weekend as he spearheads Milwaukee Yamaha's assault on the 2013 title.
The British rider, who finished second to Leon Camier riding an Airwaves Yamaha in 2009, returns to BSB after two years spent competing on the international stage in the World Supersport Championship and the MotoGP World Championship.
Teaming up with Shaun Muir Racing, with whom he competed in 2008 under the Hydrex Honda banner and in 2010 as Swan Honda, Ellison has been charged with returning the new-look Milwaukee-backed team to the top of the pile after losing its BSB crown last season.
With inclement weather prompting more questions than answers during pre-season testing, Ellison admits he is 'a little nervous', but is confident he will be at the sharp end from the opening weekend.
“I am looking forward to the first round so I can gauge how strong we are going to be and what I'm up against this year," said Ellison, who scored a podium at Brands Hatch during an outing for SMT Honda during the 2012 season finale.
"Obviously I can see it's a strong pack from watching on TV last year but with the little amount of testing we have it's not enough to really have an idea where we will be.
“I know the team and bike is strong enough to run at the front every weekend so it's down to me to make that happen. I'm a little nervous about the first round, but I get that every year and I think if I didn't I wouldn't be human so it's all good!
“With the Showdown rules I know there are pros and cons that I am sure will affect us all at some point during the season so I'm just going to do my best every weekend and ride the wave, then we will see what happens. Bring it on!”
Joining Ellison in the Milwaukee Yamaha team will be highly-rated Josh Waters, the Australian champion switching to Europe full-time after enjoying immense success Down Under.
“I can't wait to get started in the Championship as I have been looking forward to the first round for weeks! It has been hard to judge where everyone is at during the recent tests because of the weather, but at the same time it gave me a chance to learn the tracks which was important. I really want to have a good start to the season and get some good results for the Milwaukee Yamaha team.”