James Ellison's hopes of leading the CRT riders in Catalunya were thwarted by a gearbox problem yesterday. The Briton finished one place outside the points in sixteenth but was the fourth CRT rider home, five seconds behind Aleix Espargaro. Ellison had been running close behind the two Aspar machines earlier in the race but his ART started to miss gears, something which Ellison has challenged the team to get to the bottom of in time for his home race at Silverstone.
“I was happy with my pace but disappointed not to get into the points and stay with the leading trio of CRT bikes at the end. It didn’t help that I was missing gears down the straights so that is something we are going to look into. On a good lap I could close right in but then the problem would reoccur and I lost the time I’d made up. I’d like to say a big thanks to the team as they worked their butts off to get the bike ready after warm up where I crashed and we are now looking forward to testing the bike tomorrow. All things considered it was a good, solid race and I can’t wait for Silverstone to see the home fans!”
Paul Bird Motorsport's technical director Phil Borley felt Ellison's performance merited more than the final result and is encouraged by the progress being made by the Penrith-squad.
“That was James’ best dry race performance and proved that we’re now becoming very competitive with the other CRT bikes. He had a gearbox issue which stopped him challenging later on and also, he hurt his leg during the warm up crash but it’s a shame we didn’t get into the World Championship points. This is a big step forward for us in the dry and we are now looking towards Silverstone where we will get the full allocation of front tyre options which will also help us improve.”