Crash.Net MOTOGP News
Ellison promises 100% after surprise second chance
4 April 2012
James Ellison has promised to give '100% in every session' after being given a surprise second chance to race in the MotoGP World Championship.
The Englishman will compete in his first grand prix since 2006 when he lines up on the grid in Qatar on Sunday, for what will be the PBM UK team's first ever MotoGP appearance.
Ellison, a former World Endurance and double European Superstock champion, notched up 39 MotoGP starts for WCM and then Tech 3 Yamaha from 2004-2006.
Superbike and Supersport followed before the 31-year-old was picked by PBM to ride its Aprilia 'ART' machine under the new-for-2012 privateer 'Claiming Rule Team' regulations.
"I'm really excited to be back in Qatar as I love the circuit and it's even more special that I'm here to be part of MotoGP,” said Ellison.
“Being honest I never thought it possible to get a second chance so of course I am extremely grateful to Paul Bird and the whole PBM UK team for this opportunity and I can promise that I will give no less than 100% in every session and hope that I can repay them in some way.”
After a late start to testing, Ellison and PBM head into the Losail night race with work very much in progress.
But Aspar's Randy de Puniet has already proven that the ART is not only the most effective of the five CRT designs at present, it can also threaten the satellite manufacturer machines.
“It will be a tough battle for sure with the relative lack of time we've had on the bike to date, but we are a strong team and I'm sure we'll fight hard to make up for lost time,” said Ellison, before joking: “One request though: dim the lights please!"
Team principal Paul Bird is switching his attention to MotoGP after running the factory Kawasaki World Superbike team in recent seasons. Bird will also run Shane Byrne and Stuart Easton in British Superbike and Keith Farmer in the British Superstock 1000 championship.
"This is an historic time for us as we embark upon the latest phase of the team's development in MotoGP and one which we are very excited about,” said Bird. “We have raced as wild-cards in GPs on many occasions in the past but to be part of the MotoGP elite is very special for us.
“This year is all about learning for us and James has done a great job with the team so far, but we know we have a very long way to go yet. The idea is to become more competitive as the season progresses and to challenge the front-running CRT bikes."
Ellison, who claimed a best MotoGP finish of ninth on the Dunlop-shod Tech 3 M1, will open a new chapter for PBM when he takes to the Losail Circuit during opening practice on Thursday evening.