James Ellison will switch teams but not manufacturers for the 2018 MCE British Superbike season as he joins the TAG Racing outfit for what will be his final year in the series before he emigrates to America.
Ellison will move into the team - prompting further speculation he has done a straight swap with Josh Brookes - after a tough year with MCAMS but said that remaining on a Yamaha R1 for next year was a big point for him after all the work that had been put in this season.
“I’m delighted to agree a deal with Rob, Tracy and the TAG Racing Yamaha team for the up and coming 2018 season, and I can’t wait to get underway. Staying on a Yamaha was a big deal for me, I led at some points in the first six rounds of the season and the bike has proven to be a race winner,” said the Kendal native.
“It’s great to be able to agree the deal before Christmas so I am able to focus on the task in hand, the team can develop the bike in certain areas and we can start testing as soon as possible.
“Last year was tough but we showed strong pace and ran at the front every weekend other than Thruxton, but we just threw away too many points with a few crashes and technical DNF’s. My early impressions are that the team are great, they have a great bunch of guys and I can’t wait to get working with them, the family atmosphere was also a big deal for me.
“It’s going to be my final year in MCE BSB so I want to win it, I want to go out with a bang and give everyone something to cheer. My best year was in 2009 on a Yamaha where I finished second, so I’m fully focussed on going one better in 2018 to win my first BSB Championship.”
Ellison’s partner in the squad will be Shaun Winfield, who starts his fourth consecutive year in BSB: “I’m delighted to be staying in MCE BSB for 2018, it’s going to be my fourth full year in the Superbike class and I’m fully focused on once again improving.
“2017 was a challenging year for me, I had some very big crashes which knocked my confidence slightly but I picked up my first set of points, and I’m aiming to go better in 2018. We have the package, I have had another year’s experience under my belt and learnt of my team mate a lot last year, which I will bring into this year.”