Paul Bird Motorsport
Ellison surges to maiden top-CRT spot
Following a speculation-ridden build up to the French Grand Prix, James Ellison put any qualms behind him with an excellent ride to finish top CTR in 11th and score his first points for the British team.
After the disappointment of retiring in his last two GPs aboard the Paul Bird Motorsport Aprilia ART machine, the 31-year-old rider from Kendal, UK, overcame the treacherous conditions at the legendary circuit to claim his best result since his ninth place in Catalunya in 2006.
Speculation had been rife in the build up to the event that Ellison was to be replaced by another rider for the GP, in the form of Shane Byrne, yet this was denied by the team’s owner Paul Bird just before the race. Ellison will take heart from this performance, and will no doubt be looking for a repeat at the next round in Catalunya.
"The team boss Paul Bird was here this weekend and thankfully we put on a good show for him. We think we have found a setting that works in the wet or dry. It was a tough race and I'm just glad to get one for the team and I'd just like to say thanks to all my sponsors who have supported me and to the team who have done a fantastic job. I'm really looking forward to the next round and hope we can build on this result."
Paul Bird, Team Owner
"James rode a brilliant race and not only did he beat a couple of prototypes, including an ex World Champion Ben Spies on the factory Yamaha, his lap times were similar to them. The team has worked so hard and this is just what they deserved. I never thought we'd be sharing the parc ferme with the likes of Lorenzo, Stoner and Rossi but it just goes to show what can be achieved. We needed to sit down and work out a plan after Estoril, which we did, and it has worked so we now are all looking forward to Catalunya."