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Motorsport | MotoGP

James Ellison © Gallo Images

Ellison 'gutted' after losing Bird ride



James Ellison says it is "really gutting and frustrating" to have been dropped by Paul Bird Motorsport after just one season in MotoGP.

The British rider failed to shine for much of the 2012 season, the first to include CRT bikes in the premier class.

As a result his team threatened to axe him mid-season with triple BSB Champion Shane Byrne touted as his possible replacement. The threat was never carried through.

Despite improving and even achieving two P9s in the last three races of the Championship, Ellison was told in the conclusion of the season that his services were no longer required.

"It is really gutting and frustrating because I made a really big sacrifice for the last couple of years to have a big push to get into the world championship because I know I can do well," he told Motorcycle News.

"So when the CRT class came along it was a bonus being in MotoGP and when the offer from Birdy came it was ideal.

"When we discussed it, it looked like it was for the long-term because I didn't want to just come and do it for one year with my reputation being on the line. I'd taken a lot on and I wanted to do it for a minimum of two years.

"Birdy signed a contract with Dorna for three years and he said he would like to bring a young rider in later on so I was assuming, I'd have one more year.

"I think we've done well. Like everybody has in the first year we have had some ups and downs but I think we have done enough to stay. For whatever reason Paul wants another rider on it."

The 31-year-old is now looking to the future and seeking a ride in the British Superbike series.

"I have talked to quite a lot of BSB teams and there are plenty interested but a lot of things have to fall into place.

"To be honest I was probably a bit naïve trying to cling onto the hope that I had something in MotoGP, so I haven't really pushed anywhere else."

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