The MCE British Superbike Championship returns to Brands Hatch this weekend and the JG Speedfit Kawasaki team are hoping that they can turn their luck around at their home circuit.
The team endured a tough couple of rounds at Snetterton and Knockhill, with James Ellison suffering from a broken rib in Norfolk before crashing out in both races in Scotland.
The results mean that Ellison has lost the championship lead to Shane Byrne and now finds himself down in fourth place – 83 points behind the reigning champion.
Despite his poor run of form Ellison put in a great performance earlier in the season during the first visit to Brands Hatch, albeit on the Indy circuit, to win both races and set a new lap record.
Looking for more of the same on the GP layout, Ellison said: “The last few rounds haven’t gone to plan at all so I’m really looking forward to getting back out at Brands Hatch and putting things right! We had an incredible round here back in April and although the Indy track is different to the full circuit, we can certainly carry over a lot of the information that will hopefully mean we can kick-off Friday morning strongly.
“I’m still struggling a little with the injury, but it didn’t affect me too much at Knockhill and Brands is a less physical track so I don’t think it will be too much of a problem this weekend. Even with the way things went at Snetterton and Knockhill we were still one of, if not the fastest, riders of the weekend so I don’t see any reason why we cant do that again and get back to where we belong.”
With the introduction of the ‘King of Brands’ challenge for race two of the meeting, Ellison may have plenty to think about should he manage to put himself on the front-row of the grid.
With double points and a £50,000 prize up for grabs Ellison has admitted that he might be tempted to gamble, depending on how the weekend turns out up to that point.
He said: “The King of Brands option is certainly an interesting prospect, I think it will all depend on how close the times are between the top 20 riders or so but if we’re in a position where I think we can still get through to the front group then I might just go for it!”
James Westmoreland enjoyed his best weekend of the season so far at Knockhill, finishing ninth in race one before improving one position to eighth in race two.
Those results gave Westmoreland the confidence that he has been craving for most of the season and he is now looking even higher up the field this weekend.
He said: “We made some massive improvements at Knockhill so I’m quite excited for first free practice at Brands to see how they work at a different circuit. The whole weekend in Scotland I felt comfortable on the bike and a lot more settled, so I’m pretty confident that we can be running top ten from the off Friday.
“Brands is a great circuit and the crowd for the summer round always push you on to do your best. It’s a circuit that I’ve done well at in the past and have had some great results there so the aim for this weekend is to not just pick up where we left off at Knockhill, but also ensure we get through to Q3. Qualfiying is certainly an area I’ve been a bit weak at this year so it’s vital we work on that this weekend as its key to success on Sunday.”
Both riders will be present at the special Monster Energy Fan Day tomorrow, where fans are able to see how the teams prepare for the race weekend and also given the chance to meet their favourite riders.