James Ellison feels he could have challenged for victory in the latest round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Silverstone had an error in the opening race not led to his first retirement of the season.
Ellison went into the races with high hopes after discovering in qualifying that his spare bike was better suited to the rigours of the Silverstone circuit.
Starting well, Ellison benefited from two riders falling ahead of him to run in third place behind Cal Crutchlow and Michael Laverty as they came to end the fourth lap.
Indeed, Ellison was feeling confident that he would get ahead of Laverty and challenge for victory, but his hopes would be dashed by a mistake coming into the chicane, one that saw him slide from the Hydrex Bike Animal Honda and clip Laverty, putting both out.
Remarkably, it is the first time Ellison has failed to finish a race this season (not counting his withdrawal at Cadwell Park) and he was desperately disappointed to miss out.
"I felt really comfortable on the bike in the first race and got a good start, then I got pushed wide and lost a couple of places, then got elevated up again when a couple of riders crashed out and I was within chance of a race win so I was pushing to catch Cal (Crutchlow). Then coming into the chicane, I went down a gear too early and it just spat me off and that was that.”
Race two, meanwhile, didn't go to plan as a change in temperature meant Ellison couldn't get the necessary heat into the tyres. Nonetheless, he would go on to finish sixth.
“In race two the temperature plummeted just before the start which meant that the front tyre that we'd chosen just didn't get any heat in it all race long and I nearly crashed so many times so it was just a case of keeping the bike upright."