Milwaukee Yamaha continued to build for the opening round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship Showdown at Assen today as Tommy Bridewell scored a front row position on his qualifying debut with the team as James Ellison was denied the chance to push in the final session.
Both Ellison and Bridewell had been consistently improving their pace and when it came down to the race one grid decider both riders were able to comfortably move into Q3 and the final top ten session. Ellison was ready to try and move into the 1m:36s lap time barrier but a problem with the fuel injector left him fourth and heading the second row as he bids to close the gap in the standings tomorrow. Bridewell meanwhile had an impressive performance as he qualified third on the grid on his first weekend with the Milwaukee Yamaha squad.
Ellison said: “I am a bit unhappy to be honest as one of the fuel injectors went down during Q3 so it was on three and a half with less power than I normally would have. To start with I thought it felt weird because it didn’t have as much when I opened the throttle but we persevered and equalled what I did in Q2, although it was disappointing as I felt we had a 1m:36s time in there to come. I am confident with my pace for the race tomorrow and although I feel cheesed off now I would rather it happened in qualifying than in the race as the second row isn’t the end of the world.”
Bridewell said: “It feels great to be on the front row but it hasn’t been an easy weekend because I could have done without crashing first time out yesterday. The team have beared with me so I need to thank them for that; I knew we could then get it sorted come race day. It was unexpected to be on the front row; the Milwaukee Yamaha is a phenomenal package but it is different to what I have been used to so I was unsure how long it would take me to adjust. I am really looking forward to the races and mixing it up with the Showdown riders and getting stuck into them. I want to help James as much as I can in the races so I will do my best for Milwaukee Yamaha to fight for the title. Whatever it takes I will help him and the fun will start tomorrow.”