It was a day of mixed fortunes for the JG Speedfit Kawasaki team as the opening round of the 2015 MCE British Superbike Championship got underway at Donington Park.
Race one saw James Ellison put in a strong, aggressive performance to take victory ahead of Shane Byrne – which gave the team their first-ever BSB race win.
Ellison got off to a great start and pushed his way past Ryuichi Kiyonari at Redgate, slotting into second place behind Byrne. Following a safety car period, Ellison was determined to take the lead of the race and did so thanks to a great move down the inside of Byrne at Hollywood.
The 34-year-old’s luck would change going into the second race thanks to a fault with the battery. The team were forced into swapping the battery which led to Ellison having to start the race from the back of the grid.
Ellison put in a gutsy ride to fight back through the field and finish in 12 place, leaving him and the team to wonder what could have been had their not been a fault with the Kawasaki ZX-10R machine.
After the race, Ellison said: “It’s certainly been a mix of highs and lows today, but to be walking away having taken GBmoto and JG Speedfit’s first ever BSB win is amazing. The team really deserves it too, so a big thanks to them for their support – especially Mark Smith-Halvorsen who stuck by me last year through the accident.
“Its so frustrating to have missed the opportunity to challenge for a second win in race two though, the bike starts on a slave battery but every time we removed it the bike would die. It meant we had to replace it, but that requires us removing the fairing, seat and tank from the machine and despite the whole garage helping out, we just couldn’t do it in time.”
James Westmoreland’s day never really got going thanks to technical issues caused by a crash during practice on Saturday. Westmoreland had qualified in a respectable 12th place but was forced to retire from both races due to mechanical problems.
A disappointed Westmoreland said: “Unfortunately we were just unable to fix the problem with the bike in-between races today and it is frustrating to be leaving the opening round with no points. The guys in the garage have been incredible though, even swapping engines between race one and two but no matter what we tried, we just could solve the problem so its pretty confusing.”
Despite having to start from the back of the grid and finishing 12th in the second race, Ellison leaves Donington third in the championship, four points behind second place man, Dan Linfoot, and 16 points behind Byrne.
The next round of the BSB Championship takes place at Brands Hatch on April 17-19 and the JG Speedfit Kawasaki team will be hoping to add more wins to their name.