DESPITE targeting improvement, Kendal speed ace James Ellison declared himself pleased after claiming a double podium during the second round of the British Superbikes Championship at Oulton Park.
The 33-year-old went into the weekend still feeling the effects of pelvis and hip injuries, along with ligament and joint damage, following a qualifying crash at Brands Hatch.
However, after dipping into a 1:34 lap and qualifying third, Ellison posted a third-place finish in race one behind early championship pace-setter Shane Byrne and Milwaukee Yamaha’s Josh Brookes.
In race two, the GBmoto Kawasaki rider again finished third behind the same opponents, although on this occasion Brookes claimed the spoils.
With more than a month to go before the next round at Snetterton, Ellison intends to head across the pond, take stock and plot his next shot at victory.
“I’m definitely happy after the weekend, especially considering this is only the second race meeting for the GBmoto Kawasaki machines,” He said.
“Also, coming into the weekend injured from Brands Hatch wasn’t ideal preparation.
“I was in some real pain for the test at Oulton Park, I could only complete one session.
“But with the way the Showdown works, the theory was if we could get two points-scoring finishes and still be up there, I could then rest and be fit for Snetterton.
“But I wasn’t in too much pain actually for the races and we were really consistent in every practice session and much closer to the front so we’re definitely going in the right direction.
“There’s now a big gap before Snetterton so I’m heading back to the States for a few weeks to continue training in the warmer weather and fully recuperate my injury.
“The team are planning some updates to the bike too so I’m confident we’ll be challenging for some higher spots on the podium.”
In terms of the races themselves, Ellison enjoyed a strong start to the first before later running into the Hizzy chicane, rejoining in third and maintaining his position.
In the second, he broke away to sit behind Byrne and Brookes but ultimately had to settle for third after a near crash, but insists a fourth successive podium cannot be sniffed at.
"The start of the second race was good and I really enjoyed it,” he added.
“In the faster corners I am still struggling with a little bit of rear chatter so I seem to lose the gap and then pull it back in the chicanes and breaking areas.
“I went past Shane, all be it briefly out of Knickerbrook and then up into Druids I pushed a little bit too much, got some chatter and lost the front and rear. It pushed me right out to the edge of the track.
“Once I had that gap I didn't have any chance of pulling back. I had to push as hard as I could to try and keep the gap the same.
“Fortunately we brought it back in third place and I can't be too disappointed with that."