British Superbike

Disappointment for Ellison and JG Speedfit Kawasaki at Snetterton

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The JG Speedfit Kawasaki team’s weekend at Snetterton went from bad to worse on race day as a mixture of bad luck and mechanical issues hampered their race efforts.

Saturday’s qualifying session saw James Ellison suffer nasty-looking crash, in which he was ran over by the front of his bike, when the rain began to fall.

This resulted in Ellison having to start the first race from 10th on the grid and in need of a fight back through the field. Unfortunately he straight on at the end of the Bentley Straight whilst in seventh place on the first lap, dropping him down to 19th position.

At the half-way stage of the race Ellison was then forced into retirement due to his chain stretching and jumping off the sprocket.

Ellison had to start the second race from down in 16th position but after making a great start, found himself up into seventh by the end of the first lap.

Once the safety car had returned to the pit-lane following Taylor Mackenzie’s fire, Ellison found himself up to fifth and was homing in on the podium positions.

However just as he had made it up to third place, the physical effects of his heavy crash in qualifying took it’s toll and he began to fall back down the field – eventually finishing in seventh.

Looking back over the weekend, a disappointed Ellison said: “It’s been an incredibly disappointing day today, to only walk away with a seventh is frustrating for both myself and the team as we know it’s not where we should be – particularly as we set the fastest lap of the weekend in FP3. Unfortunately we just had a bit of bad luck this weekend, the qualifying crash caused a lot of damage to the bike and just left me a bit battered and bruised.  

“We were a long way back in race two but the bike was mega and by the end of the first lap we were up in seventh before moving up to third mid-race. I was capable of running the pace when I was out on my own but towards the end of the race, when we were caught up in a battle I was just struggling slightly from the crash and couldn’t keep my rhythm.

“We’ve got two weeks before Knockhill so I’ll get some rest and we’ll come back ready to return to the podium and get the series lead back!”

It was also a dismal day on the other side of the garage, with James Westmoreland suffering from a double retirement.

The 26-year-old had been lapping around the top 10 places throughout practice but only managed to qualify down in 23rd position before retiring from race one on lap four.

Westmoreland was forced back to the garage once again in the second race, suffering from a clutch failure on lap 11.

A frustrated Westmoreland said: “Today has been particularly difficult. We made a big jump forward with the setting of the bike this weekend and certainly had the pace to run top ten. Unfortunately I messed up a bit in qualifying which put us back on the grid as I just couldn’t match my earlier pace. We fixed that in warm-up but in the first race we had a sensor break on us and then in the second race we had a problem with the clutch.

“Despite this, we can walk away with some positives and Knockhill is one of my favourite tracks, as well as being one of my strongest, so we can hopefully continue building and enjoy two strong rides there.”

Today’s results mean that Ellison has now lost the lead of the championship to Shane Byrne and finds himself down in third position, 33 points behind the reigning champion.

The JG Speedfit Kawasaki team head to Scotland next for round five of the MCE British Superbike Championship at Knockhill, with the action getting underway on Friday 3 July.

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About author
Josh is a Sports Journalism graduate and has been a member of the TCF team since 2015. Between 2015 and 2018, Josh focused primarily on British Superbikes and Road Racing events such as the Isle of Man TT. At the beginning of the 2019 season he became the MotoGP Reporter.
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