PBMUK rider James Ellison rode through the pain barrier to claim his second successive 14th place MotoGP finish and in doing so added to his World Championship points tally at today's Dutch TT at Assen.
Aboard the Claiming Rules Team (CRT) specification Aprilia ART, the 31-year-old was still suffering the effects of his huge Silverstone warm-up crash two weeks ago and struggled throughout the weekend for the Penrith-based Paul Bird Motorsport team as he couldn't get comfortable on the bike.
Despite improvements made to the machine at Silverstone meaning the team was confident of a good result, Ellison qualified in 19th place out of the 21 riders but it proved to be an uphill struggle for the former World Endurance Champion and double European Superstock Champion in today's 26-lap race.
With a high attrition rate, Ellison found himself in 13th place but following a pit stop for a new tyre, nine times World Champion Valentino Rossi managed to squeeze past James on the very last corner to relegate him to 14th by just 2/1000ths of a second at the chequered flag.
The result sees James hold joint 16th place in the World Championship after seven rounds and sixth placed ART bike. PBMUK are also in joint tenth out of the 14 in the Teams Championship going into next weekend's race at Sachsenring in Germany.
James Ellison: "To sum it up bluntly, it was a bad day at the office. I was in a lot of pain from my Silverstone crash and have been getting treatment and painkillers before and after every session but it just proved too difficult in the race, I pushed so hard every lap but was missing apexes and even ran off the track early in the race which put us last. I worked hard to fight back and the lighter fuel load was helping but it was all too little too late. To top it off Rossi pipped us on the line by 0.002s to take another point. I'm just gutted for the whole team and Aprilia as they worked hard to give me a good bike and I'm sorry that I couldn't capitalise on getting more points. I'll be working hard to get fit for Germany and make up for this weekend."
Phil Borley Technical Director: "It was extremely disappointing that due to his physical condition, James couldn't get the maximum out of the bike as it's the best it's been all season. We were lucky to pick up some points but unlucky that because of getting lapped, he lost out to Valentino Rossi which rubbed salt into the wound. It was an important finish but we need to be much, much closer to the other CRT bikes so hopefully James will be a lot fitter for next weekend."