James Ellison has paid tribute to his GBmoto Racing team principal Mark Smith-Halvorsen after taking the victory in round one of the 2015 MCE British Superbike season.

The opening BSB round at Donington Park proved to be a highly-emotional weekend for the JG Speedfit Kawasaki team, who recorded their first-ever BSB superbike victory and Kawasaki's first superbike win at the Leicestershire track since 1999.

Ellison shot off the grid from second position to take the lead at the first corner and was pushed all the way by PBM Kawasaki's Shane Byrne but was able to hold on for victory by just 0.131s.

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The rider says the win was for Smith-Halvorsen and gave huge credit to his team boss after helping him comeback from the broken femur he suffered last year while racing for the team.

"He [Smith-Halvorsen] didn't speak to me, he just blubbered," Ellison said. "He is an emotional guy and had been waiting for that win for a very long time.

"It's certainly been a mix of highs and lows, but to be walking away having taken GBmoto and JG Speedfit's first ever BSB win is amazing. The team really deserve it too, so a big thanks to them for their support, especially Mark Smith-Halvorsen who stuck by me last year through the accident."

However, it was a weekend of mixed feelings because in the second race Ellison had to start from pitlane after his Kawasaki ZX-10R needed a battery change moments before the start of the race.

The team were unable to get the bike to the grid on time, forcing the Lancashire-born rider to start dead last. He was able to battle through the pack and finish a commendable 12th, but lamented on missing the chance of a double-victory.

"It's so frustrating to have missed the opportunity to challenge for a second win in race two though," Ellison added. "The bike starts on a slave battery but every time we removed it the bike would die. It meant we had to replace it, but that requires us removing the fairings, seat and tank from the machine and despite the whole garage helping out, we just couldn't do it time.

"Starting from the back wasn't ideal, particularly with the size of the grid, and fighting through just takes time. We still scored points though so we can't be too disappointed."

Ellison ended the season opener third in the riders' standings after Shane Byrne followed up his second place in race one with victory ahead of Dan Linfoot. The Honda Racing rider is four points ahead of Ellison with Byrne leading the way by 12 points.