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Ellison signs for Milwaukee Yamaha in BSB 2013

James Ellison has come back to the MCE British Superbike Championship after two years away, slipping seamlessly back into the team has ridden for on two previous occasions.

The likeable Cumbrian did a last-minute deal with team principal Shaun Muir earlier this week and was at Motorcycle Live for the official unveiling today alongside BSB team-mate Josh Waters and the squad’s roads man William Dunlop.

“I was released from the Paul Bird team leading up to Valencia, and the first person I contacted was Shaun, I did talk to other teams as a back up plan just in case things didn’t work out. I have been with Shaun’s team twice before and we had two good seasons with each other and I knew it was the best team in the championship,” said Ellison, speakling exclusively to bikesportnews.com this morning.


“I didn’t realise I would end up getting the ride and I thought I would just be picking up the scraps with everything being so late, but it has worked out really well. We have kept in contact for the last month and we have finally signed a deal and I am really looking forward to it.”

Ellison, the former European Superstock 1000 Champion, will be bringing back some of his crew to the SMR team from his Paul Bird Motorsport camp. “Mick Shanley is my crew chief again, which is mega and it is an ideal situation to come back with Shaun and to have Mick as well.

“I think Mick would have been in the team regardless, he has always got on with Shaun and has been with the SMR team from the start, and it makes a big difference. He knows me and I know him and he knows how I work and knows how to get the best out of me, which is what I feel we did this year, so I am looking forward to it.”

Things have changed a bit since the last time that Ellison has raced on a Yamaha in British Superbikes and that was back in 2009 for the GSE Racing team on their Yamaha YZF-R1. But already the former MotoGP racer has experienced some notable differences.

“I have sat on the R1 and it is a lot smaller, the tank is smaller and the fuel tank is in a different place. It is obviously an improved version of the 2009 bike so it is not going to be any worse and we have a fantastic season so hopefully we are going to have some good results. I have had a year on different tyres and on different world circuits so I told Shaun that I need to do some testing when I get back.

“He said that I can go out and ride the bike as much as I want or take a Superstock bike out and get used to not riding with the traction control again. I used to favour that anyway I never liked traction control, it has taken me a few years to adapt and trust in it, but now I think it is more down to throttle control which is what I prefer, but it is certainly going to take a while to get used to again.”

The newly-signed Yamaha rider is under no illusions just how challenging and competitive British Superbikes will be in 2013, and has already singled out Kawasaki’s Shane Byrne and Tyco Suzuki’s Josh Brookes as his competition.

“Shakey and Josh Brookes will be the strongest contenders, there are a couple of lads who are there who have been super fast in some rounds but those two are the most consistent in the championship. We are going to try and get that championship, but I think those two are going to be the hardest contenders.”

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