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Ellison in the dark over PBM’s 2013 MotoGP plans

25 October 2012

James Ellison still has no idea if PBM team owner Paul Bird intends to retain his services for the 2013 MotoGP season.

The Englishman, who previously raced in MotoGP during 2004-2006, returned to the premier-class as PBM's sole rider in its debut year of grand prix competition.

The 32-year-old has taken the team's CRT-spec Aprilia to points in eleven of the 15 rounds, including the last six races, culminating in a best of the year ninth in last Sunday's Sepang washout.

“It tough for everybody - it's MotoGP!” said Ellison at Phillip Island on Thursday.

“Mentally it's been quite tough as well, just before Le Mans, Paul Bird said he wanted to replace me mid-season, and then we starting getting some decent results and that all kind of got swept under the carpet

“But it's been a difficult one for me. I've just tried to keep my head down, get the results and do the best I can on track. Block all that out.

“I'm really enjoying riding the bike and developing it. The development's not coming on as fast as I was hoping. We got a new engine in Aragon, but it's just the one, so we're only allowed to use it for warm-up and the race.

“It's just unfortunate we don't get to use it for free practice and qualifying because it's quite a big step. But if we can save it for the last two races we can keep closing the gap to the Aspar boys.”

PBM plans to expand to a two-rider line-up next season, with the team's newly crowned BSB champion Shane Byrne heading a long list of riders linked with the project.

“I really want to stay where I am next year. I think there's a lot of potential in the team and I've enjoyed working with them,” said Ellison.

“I feel with a team-mate next year and a testing plan - we've done no testing all year and that's played a big part in the slow development. I just want to go full steam ahead and I think we can achieve a lot next year in the CRT class.

“Hopefully Paul will keep me on, but it's up to him. To be honest I don't have a clue at the minute. We'll see but hopefully I'm still here.”

Ellison starts the penultimate round of the year 16th in the world championship.


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