Superb Ellison flies the flag at Donington.

While the attention may have been primarily on Cal Crutchlow, Tom Sykes and Leon Haslam heading into World Superbike Superpole at Donington Park, it was James Ellison that instead emerged flying the British flag.

Although he has always been in contention for the top ten all weekend, it took a set-up change on the Hydrex Bike Animal Honda for Ellison to break into the top five and just miss out on a front row spot.

With Ellison keeping it neat and tidy on his flying lap, unlike Crutchlow and Sykes, he was duly rewarded with the role of best British rider heading into the two races.

And yet, Ellison wasn't convinced he had done a particularly quick lap at the time, although he was naturally delighted with the result.

"I'm a lot happier now,” he said. “We had some issues with the suspension which we'd never had before and as a result we've found out lots of new things about the bike this weekend.

“I'm really happy with the way the lads have turned the bike around and they've come up trumps. I did a 1m 47s lap here to qualify in BSB and there's no way I thought I'd done such a quick time, so I'm really pleased."

Team owner Shaun Muir, meanwhile, was thrilled with Ellison's performance, not least because fifth on the World Superbike grid is better than many of his starting positions in the British series this season...

"Little more than half a second from pole position and just 0.009s off the front row and his first time ever in a wet Superpole - I'm absolutely delighted. Hopefully he will be able to get a characteristically good start and he will have no problem getting away with the front-runners.

“He's in a good start position, just behind pole and the only problem we may have is if it's dry tomorrow as we've had no dry track time, but we're feeling confident."

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