Having missed out on the 2017 MCE British Superbike riders’ title by three points with Josh Brookes, TAG Racing's James Ellison and team boss Rob Winfield both see no reason why they can’t target titles in 2018.

TAG Racing Yamaha unveiled its 2018 rider line-up with Ellison replacing Josh Brookes alongside Shaun Winfield, which is set to mark Ellison’s final year in BSB, while the team is beginning early preparations for next season with initial testing at Donington Park this week.

After narrowly missing out on the BSB title with Brookes, while still enjoying its best-ever campaign in the series, TAG Racing boss Winfield feels the team can build on its 2017 experiences by targeting titles again next year.

“We’re delighted to announce our rider line up for 2018 so early, this means we can focus on the upgrades we have coming our way and we can make a strong plan for the new season earlier than we did in 2017,” Winfield said.

“I’m delighted to be able to welcome James to the team, he’s shown a lot of interest in the programme we have in place here, and he’s determined to help us to go one better for 2018. The calibre of James doesn’t need to be spoken about, he has a lot of experience and he knows the Yamaha very well, which will help us and him when we get out testing.

“Our aim is to win the Championship in 2018, we have learnt a lot from last year which we are bringing into this coming season, with James’ focus and drive to succeed in his last year in the Championship it has the omen’s to be a very good season.

“Shaun is fully focused to improve his results he achieved this year in 2018, he’s learnt a lot from Josh and he’s improved vastly by picking up points and improving on his personal bests at almost every track we’ve visited. We have plans as a team to help him a lot more this year, and we hope that will push him close to the front, where ultimately, we all want him to be.

“Nobody expected anything from last year, but we have expectations to improve the end result and go one better, so expect us to be fighting at the front once again.”

Ellison has echoed the same sentiment as his new team boss having missed out on the title as runner-up in 2009 while racing for Yamaha.

“It’s going to be my final year in BSB so I want to win it, I want to go out with a bang and give everyone something to cheer," Ellison said. "My best year was in 2009 on a Yamaha where I finished second, so I’m fully focussed on going one better in 2018 to win my first BSB Championship.”

Winfield also paid tribute to Brookes after seeing the 2015 BSB champion leave the team after just one year having just missed out on last year’s title by three points to Be Wiser Ducati’s Shane Byrne.

“I want to place on record my thanks to Josh Brookes and the work he did last season,” he said. “As a team we proved many people wrong and came so close to achieving the impossible, and we would like to wish Josh the very best in whatever he chooses to do in the future.”



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