British Superbike

Championship challenge over for Ellison after Assen

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James Ellison’s 2016 MCE British Superbike title challenge has officially come to an end following the weekend’s results at Assen.

Ellison launched off the line in the opening race to grab the holeshot but was eventually caught and passed by teammate Leon Haslam and championship leader Shane Byrne. Ellison would end the race on the final step of the podium.

Ellison started the second race from third on the grid and was again challenging for the podium places for the first half of the race.

Ellison would begin to suffer from chatter towards the end of the race however and had to settle for seventh place.

Disappointed his 2016 Championship challenge is over, Ellison added “It’s been a bit of a gutting weekend if I’m honest. We came in thinking we had a chance to take the Championship to Brands but unfortunately it’s not meant to be. It’s certainly been a tough season, particularly with the mid-season issues we had, but since we got it fixed we’ve been pushing at the front these last few rounds and are running with Leon and Shane.

“I had a little bit of chatter towards the end in that second race which just meant the others were able to pass me but my plan is to go to Brands and the season on a high with some wins.”

Ellison’s teammate Peter Hickman struggled all weekend with his Kawasaki machine, finishing Sunday’s races in 16th and 14th places respectively.

Looking back over the weekend, Hickman said: “It’s been the worst weekend of the year for me really. The problem in qualifying really hampered us, everyone is so, so fast this year you just can’t make your way forward. Warm up was great and felt really positive for race one but unfortunately I just didn’t have the same grip from the rear in the race which meant we were unable to improve our grid spot for race two.

“The team have worked so hard and leaving here with two points isn’t really what we want or where we should be!”

The final round of the 2016 season takes place at the Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit and gets underway on Friday, October 14.

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