James Ellison has reverted to the spare Hydrex Bike Animal machine for the remainder of the weekend after discovering by chance that it was far better suited to the Silverstone circuit.
Ellison has had a difficult weekend so far, struggling to get comfortable around a circuit he hasn't visited for four years, while the Honda has not been coping well with the bumps in the braking area.
However, when that bike seized up mid-way through qualifying and forced him to switch to his little-used spare bike, Ellison discovered an immediate improvement in pace, describing it as though the 'track had been ironed out'.
“We have been struggling since Croft with this bike,” he told Crash.net
. “There aren't too many bumps on a lot of tracks, but with Croft and this circuit, there are bumps everywhere. The bike doesn't react well to them so it is just a nightmare to ride it.
“It was getting to the point that lads thought it was all in my head, but in that session the rear wheel spindle seized up for some reason, so that forced us to take out the second bike, which has not data logging or anything on it.
“So I went out there and I was immediately a second faster. It was weird; there were no bumps where there were some before!
“There must be something fundamentally wrong with the chassis, so I am hoping this is a step forward for us now because we have been struggling. Tracks where there are bumps we haven't done well on, so this is a big confidence boost for me. I have found two seconds in just a day.”
Squeezing into the top ten shootout with his final lap, Ellison went on to qualify in eighth place, but with a revitalised bike beneath him, he is confident that there is more speed to find in the races.
“I am really confident. The other guys have moved forward, but I have found two seconds in a day. I'm still a little bit lost around here because I haven't been here for four years, but now we have a bike that handles well, I think we can go well.”