HE may not be entirely satisfied but James Ellison believes there is plenty to build on after successive podium finishes during the opening weekend of the British Superbikes Championship at Brands Hatch.
Starting 16th on the grid, Ellison completed 12 laps in 9:22.544 to record a third-place finish in race one behind Shane Byrne and fellow GBmoto Kawasaki rider Chris Walker.
A fastest lap time ensured pole position in the 30-lap second race, with the 33-year-old again coming home third in 23:19.566 behind Byrne and former Milwaukee Yamaha team-mate Josh Brookes.
And while there remains a tinge of dissatisfaction, a second fastest lap time added to the podium finishes on his first outing for GBmoto Kawasaki, means Ellison has cause for optimism.
“I was really pleased with the first race, happy to get through and get on the podium and give GBmoto their first podium with me and Chris both on the box,” he said.
“With getting the fastest lap and pole for race two, I went out with the mindset of trying to win so I was a little disappointed to be fair.
“At one stage I got right to the front of Shakey’s back wheel but after a lot of really hard passing manoeuvres, the front tyre was shredded and had nothing left to stay with him.
“My lap times dropped a bit and Josh passed me towards the end but we got two fastest laps which I’m really happy with.
“That’s a huge confidence boost for me and the team as the bike has only had nine days testing through the winter and three days at Brands Hatch.
“And when you look at the bikes we’re beating and running with we’re just scratching the surface of development and we know there is a lot more to come.”
Ellison’s exploits at Brands Hatch see him occupy second place in the BSB standings with 32 points, already comfortably in the showdown zone.
And Ellison knows from experience how momentum can be generated from a positive start, with attentions now turning to round two of the championship at Oulton Park next weekend.
“It’s encouraging to be second in the championship,” he added. “It’s always nice to kick off the season well and a decent opening sets you up nicely.
“Back in 2010 we had a third and a win at this stage and straight away at round two I was leading Friday and Saturday practice.
“I just had so much confidence from the round one result. Last year we won one and had a DNF so I didn’t quite have the same confidence going into the second round.
“We’ve been in this position before and know it does help going forward. It’s now a case of keeping that momentum going and riding the wave.”