Sunday’s final MotoGP race in Valencia proved to be a good one for Paul Bird Motorsport’s James Ellison, who managed to complete one of his best ever races in the premier class, winding up his season with a ninth place finish.
Though James initially struggled with the wet weather conditions during free practise and qualifying, which resulted in him starting his race from pole position, he soon powered forward on his CRT-spec Aprilia ART. Going for his wet weather tyres, James managed to move into seventh position, where he was battling it out with the likes of 2012 champ, Jorge Lorenzo. When the track started to dry, he made the decision to move into the pits and change to his dry tyres.
Leaving the pits in sixteenth place, he moved forward once again to claim ninth, overtaking Valentino Rossi in the process; a place he kept hold of until the end of the race. The finish meant James had achieved a total of twelve points scoring riders in eighteen Grand Prix races, three of which were top ten results. He ended the season in a respectable sixteenth overall. Speaking of his race, James said it was understandably emotional;
‘Well, I’m not going to lie, it was another emotional race today, a lot of feelings came out as I was riding round knowing it was my last GP…I’ve really enjoyed working with the PBM UK team and will miss every single one of them especially my garage crew as we have grown so close through the year enjoying the good times and sticking together through the bad. I’d like to thank Paul Bird for the opportunity this year, Kelly for her hard work behind the scenes and everyone else that made my return to the premier class possible…Regarding the race I think we made the right decision by starting on wets and pulling in for slicks early on, a ninth place and ninth fastest lap was a great way to end the season. As for the future, who knows, but I will be racing a motorcycle in 2013.’