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Ellison 'gutted' after late retirement, remains positive

30 April 2012

PBM UK rider James Ellison was denied a points-scoring finish at Jerez after an oil pressure problem forced him out of the race with two laps remaining.

Ellison was competing with the leading CRT riders for much of the race until cruel luck dashed his hopes, but the 31-year-old is refusing to allow his head to drop as he looks towards the next round of the MotoGP World Championship at Estoril in Portugal.

The Aprilia ART rider said: “I'm very happy with the improvements to the bike, we have gone a long way to sorting the chatter issues by trying a combination of the new front tyre and turning off the traction control but we lost side grip, which we will sort by running traction control at Estoril.

“We had a couple of problems during practice but I got a great start in the race and was feeling comfortable running with the leading CRT riders, we were even mixing it up with a few prototypes as well, but then the oil pressure suddenly dropped and I had to pit.

“I am gutted as we deserved our first points and I feel for the team,” added Ellison.

“We have made good strides this weekend but still need more time on the bike to iron out the problems, especially with the electronics, but today has given us all encouragement and we can hopefully get a good result in Estoril.”

Ellison, meanwhile, apologised to Casey Stoner via Twitter after almost colliding with the Repsol Honda star during qualifying.

Ellison tweeted: 'So dude on a scale of 1-10 how bad was my chatter? Sorry for nearly collecting u at turn two, tucked the front... again!'

Stoner replied: 'yeah I thought you were getting a little too close! I have never seen chatter like yours, that bike needs to go in the bin!'

The Kendal rider was less critical of his chatter problems at the end of the race, adding on Twitter: 'Gutted for whole team 2day, we turned a big corner with bike and felt good in race (not so much chatter) oil pressure low so bike turned off.'

Team owner Paul Bird is happy with the progress of the project and hit back at critics who said his team would simply be 'making up the numbers' in MotoGP this year.

“How unlucky can you get as just as we were in with a shout of a cracking result, James is forced out with a lap to go. The boys have done a wonderful job considering it's only our second GP and fair play to James, he rode well, and he even had the likes of [Valentino] Rossi in his sights,” said Bird.

“If anyone had said that to me at the start of the season, I'd have told them to go away and give their head a shake! We will take a lot from this weekend and continue our progress in Estoril, and so much for those who said we would only make up the numbers this season.

“I'd also like to say well done to Cal Crutchlow and Scott Redding on their fourth place finishes.”


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