James Ellison feels the Paul Bird Motorsport team are moving in the right direction despite being forced to retire from the Spanish Grand Prix. The Briton was on target to score the first points for the CRT squad before encountering oil pressure problems but still sees plenty of positives to take with him to Estoril.
“I’m very happy with the improvements to the bike, we have gone a long way to sorting the chatter issues by trying a combination of the new front tyre and turning off the Traction Control but we lost side grip which we will sort by running TC at Estoril. We had a couple of problems during practice but I got a great start in the race and was feeling comfortable running with the leading CRT riders, we were even mixing it up with a few prototypes as well, but then the oil pressure suddenly dropped and I had to pit. I am gutted as we deserved our first points and I feel for the team. We have made good strides this weekend but still need more time on the bike to iron out the problems, especially with the electronics, but today has given us all encouragement and we can hopefully get a good result in Estoril.”
Team Owner Paul Bird sees signs that the Penrith outfit are getting to grips with the ART machine and is also proud to see them proving their pre-season doubters wrong.
“How unlucky can you get as just as we were in with a shout of a cracking result, James is forced out with a lap to go. The boys have done a wonderful job considering it’s only our second GP and fair play to James, he rode well, and he even had the likes of Rossi in his sights. If anyone had said that to me at the start of the season, I’d have told them to go away and give their head a shake! We will take a lot from this weekend and continue our progress in Estoril, and so much for those who said we would only make up the numbers this season. I’d also like to say well done to Cal Crutchlow and Scott Redding on their fourth place finishes today.”