Performance Technical Racing has announced that multiple British Superbike Championship racer winner James Ellison will switch to the World Supersport Championship in 2011.
A bold move for Ellison, who has focused on Superbike racing in recent years, the 30-year-old will join Sam Lowes and Miguel Praia, who have already signed to race with the PTR-run Parkalgar Honda team.
Despite this, the former MotoGP rider, who finished runner-up to Leon Camier in the 2009 BSB season, will race under the PTR Honda banner as a single rider, though Simon Buckmaster is hoping funding can be secured for a team-mate to join him.
A return to the international stage for Ellison, who won the 2000 and 2001 European Superstock 1000 series and competed at WSS level in 2002, he was delighted to have secured a return with a renowned package.
“These sort of chances don't come along everyday and after riding the PTR Parkalgar Honda bike a couple of times I know how fast it really is and that I should be able to compete for wins and the Championship. That is my aim, and the team's so we share the same ambition.
“I am looking forward to working with Sam and Miguel, with my experience I hope to be able to help them both realise their full potential. I am determined to show the world what James Ellison is capable of and this is the best opportunity I could wish for, I can't wait for the season to start.”
Having finished runner-up in 2009 and 2010 with Eugene Laverty, PTR boss Buckmaster is confident he has established a team to beat for the 2011 season.
“We are delighted to welcome James to the team and to expand our racing activities with the support of Parkalgar, the circuit near Portimao in Portugal.
“James' experience will be a major benefit to Sam and Miguel to help all three riders achieve their potential in the World Supersport Championship.
“It is clear that this is a big break for James, if he performs well in the World Championship then his career will go into fast forward and we are already talking about the potential of a World Superbike team built round him in 2012 subject to his results and the team's funding.
“Well done and thank you to Parkalgar for investing in its race team and expanding its efforts and support. Without Parkalgar this would not be possible.”
Ellison hinted that a Supersport return was on the cards with an outing with PTR at the Sunflower event last month.