BSB Rider of the Year: 2nd
2nd – James Ellison
Average poll score out of ten: 7.47
JG Speedfit Kawasaki
James Ellison's 2015 BSB campaign was once again punctuated by injuries picked up during the season and had it not been for a broken wrist suffered a Thruxton it is likely he would have been in the mix for a maiden BSB title against Shane Byrne and Josh Brookes.
The JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider enjoyed a terrific start to 2015 by taking three wins from the first four races, with only a mechanical fault denying him in the race he didn't finish on the top step.
However, the Cumbrian rider's year took a blow at Snetteron when he was unluckily caught out by a sudden rain shower in qualifying that tripped him into a nasty accident in which he sustained two broken ribs.
Ellison courageously battled through the pain but struggled to challenge at the front in the same fashion to the opening rounds. Once he had sufficiently recovered from the injury – claiming a third and a fourth at Brands Hatch – misfortune struck for a second time when he suffered a broken wrist during race one at Thruxton.
Considered one of the unluckiest riders on the BSB grid, both of Ellison's crashes that resulted in broken bones were through no fault of his own.
At Thruxton, Richard Cooper's machine expired in front of him on track, spraying oil on his helmet visor and bike which forced him helplessly into a tumble.
The injury subsequently forced him out of the next four races that meant his place in the BSB Showdown came under pressure, but he duly ended those doubts with a podium at Oulton Park on his comeback.
Despite three further podiums in the Showdown rounds Ellison couldn't live with the pace Brookes produced and was forced to settle for third place behind Byrne, which is a respectable feat considering he missed significant chunks of the year through injury.
In 2016, Ellison will be getting to grips with the new Kawasaki ZX-10R with support from the factory, while he is also being joined at JG Speedfit Kawasaki by Peter Hickman and Leon Haslam. If Ellison can dial in the new bike and stay injury-free next year could represent his best chance for a long-awaited BSB title.
James Ellison in the BSB Rider of the Year poll
BSB Rider of the Year poll 2014: 4th
BSB Rider of the Year poll 2013: 5th
BSB Rider of the Year poll 2012: N/A
BSB Rider of the Year poll 2011: 9th
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About the vote:
Rather than repeat the Riders' British Championship standings, the BSB Rider of the Year poll asks viewers to take into account factors such as machinery, performance relative to a team-mate, riding style, experience, injuries, progress and personality just as much as race results and scoring each of the top twenty from this year's BSB standings with a mark out of ten.