Paul Bird Motorsport
Round seven of the MotoGP World Championship takes place at the historic Assen circuit this weekend where PBM UK rider James Ellison is hoping to continue his recent good form.
Last time out at his home British Grand Prix, the 31-year-old from Kendal in Cumbria had to overcome some minor problems aboard the Claiming Rules Team (CRT) specification Aprilia ART but still managed to claim fourth place in the class as well as scoring his second World Championship points of the season at Silverstone.
The Dutch circuit has the distinction of being the only GP to race on a Saturday so Ellison and the Penrith-based team will be hoping to have something to celebrate that evening, like they did when former World and double European Champion Ellison took top CRT honours at the French Grand Prix at Le Mans last month.
With recent improvements to the electronics, Ellison is much more confident on the bike but still knows there is a long way to go with regards to development of the planned all-British project.
James Ellison: "We are hoping the improvements in mapping and traction control we made for the Silverstone race will carry on to Assen. We have had a run of really solid results but I know there is a lot more to come from both the settings and from myself. I need to get more out of the tyres when they are new to improve our grid position and also our position on the first couple of laps which are so critical. That's what I will be focusing on this weekend as our race pace is strong after lap three. Assen was my first international win back in 2000 so I have fond memories and I can't wait to get out on track!"
Paul Bird, Team Owner: "James rode really well at Silverstone and I was delighted for him and the team but we all know we still have an awful lot of work to do. We are now making steady progress and with the help of Aprilia, I'm confident we can start regularly challenging the top riders in CRT. Another strong result is what we are looking for this weekend and if James can get away with them from the start, then there's no reason why we can't be up there again."