KENDAL bike star James Ellison celebrated a hard-fought podium in the opening MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship race at Oulton Park in Cheshire.

However the Milwaukee Yamaha rider was denied the chance to challenge for a repeat performance after an electrical problem forced him to retire in race two.

In race one Ellison carved his way through the pack and towards the end of the race he was able to make a decisive move on Josh Brookes to claim second place and a front row start for race two.

However in the second race, while Ellison was challenging for the win, he was forced out of contention with an electrical problem.

Teammate Josh Waters scored 13th place in race one but some improvements between races saw a stronger performance in race two as he was in the battle for seventh before ending the race in 10th place.

Ellison said: “It felt mega to be on the podium in race one because we knew it wouldn’t be easy from 10th on the grid after what happened in qualifying yesterday.

“I just got my head down and tried to find my way through, but Tommy Bridewell has really upped his game and he was hard to pass but I eventually got by him.

“I could then see Josh and I could see he was having a few issues - I made mistakes too towards the end but we still made the podium and that was the aim.

“It could have been two podiums but it wasn’t to be and we couldn’t capitalise on Shakey’s DNF. It was just unfortunate but we can now have a few weeks off and come back ready for Knockhill.”

Team owner Shaun Muir said: “What can I say about this weekend?

“James had a brilliant performance in race one after what had been a tough qualifying session yesterday but a second place was a very good result.

“I was really sorry that an electrical fault cost him the chance to try and make it a repeat performance in race two, which I have no doubt he would have been there to challenge for at the end of the race.”

Ellison and his team’s next outing is at Knockhill, Fife from June 14 to June 16.