Hydrex Bike Animal Honda BSB rider James Ellison began his wild-card appearance at the Donington Park World Superbike round with an impressive tenth place during a soaking wet first qualifying.
The 27-year-old, one of four high-profile British wild-cards at the event, was running as high as sixth before dropping down the order, but believes more is possible during Saturday's final qualifying and Superpole session.
"I'm delighted with that placing and I know there's more to come and we had a couple of problems in that session," said James, who scored a fifth and sixth position result on his last wild-card ride at Brands Hatch in 2004. "We decided to use the BSB motor as opposed to the WSB spec engine but I can revert to the faster one if I need, and also we had a minor problem with the rear suspension unit. Top ten is where we need to be and I'm confident we can run even higher especially if it's dry."
"I'm pleased with the way it's gone today and James has ridden very well," added team owner Shaun Muir. "It's always difficult knowing where to pitch your expectations but I think we should be delighted with a top ten placing at this early stage and we're feeling strong for the rest of the weekend."
HM Plant Honda's Cal Crutchlow was the highest placed BSB wild-card, in third position.