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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 June 2006, 18:40 GMT 19:40 UK
James Ellison's MotoGP column
James Ellison
James Ellison
Tech3 Yamaha MotoGP rider

James Ellison
Catalunya was Ellison's first top 10 finish of the season
I had a perfect view of the multiple crash at the first corner of the Catalunya MotoGP last Sunday, and as soon as we approached the first corner, I knew there'd be trouble.

I saw a load of guys going for the same line and thought: "There'll be two who make this, not 18."

So I held back and, sure enough, I had a front row seat for seeing Sete Gibernau go over his handlebars.

We saw the crash replayed on television a million times when we were back in the pits.

As soon as there was word that the riders were all OK, our minds were set at ease.

Then we had three minutes notice that the pit lane would reopen, and once the lights turned red again, it was back to normal.

You can't think about crashing. If you do, you should hang up your leathers because stuff like that happens, and you've just got to deal with it. It's as simple as that.

I've seem a lot worse accidents than this one, so you just have to blank them out.

A lot of people have quit racing because they've got families, and they start to think: "Why am I doing this?"

But for the majority of us it's a calculated risk, and if it's going to happen, it'll happen.

The season's just starting for me now

When the race restarted, the crash might have reined people in a bit, so I thought "everyone else will take it easy at the first corner, so I won't".

But everyone thought that way, so we were bashing elbows and fairings. I don't think the crash affected anyone.

I managed a top 10 finish, which is good - of course it was down to a smaller field, but at the end of the day, we finished ninth, and points are points.

It would be nice to get top 10 in normal circumstances, but at the moment I don't think we're in that position.

Carlos Checa ran the new bike frame at Catalunya, and it was a big improvement.

I'm now the only Yamaha rider without one, so hopefully we should get it for the British race at Donington Park on 2 July.

Valentino Rossi was the first to have it, and now he has won the last two races. He has definitely found his groove again.

For various reasons, he lost his way at the start of the season, but his ability has never weakened, and now the problems are fixed, he has every chance of winning.

Ellison was right behind the dramatic Catalunya crash
Ellison (in yellow) had a prime view of Sete Gibernau's crash

Assen is up next, and it's one of my favourite circuits.

I had my first European Superstocks win there, and qualified well there last year before I had troubles halfway round.

I like places with banking corners, like Assen, because it suits my riding style.

Donington's like that too, and it's the next race after Assen, so the season's just starting for me now.

I've not really enjoyed one race yet this year because I know there's so much in me which is still to come out.

At the minute I'm not able to do that, but we've found the right direction now.

In Catalunya we made some changes to my bike to try and mimic the new frame, and I'm feeling a lot more comfortable - I ride a lot more aggressively now, I can actually fight with the bike and make the thing go faster

James Ellison is writing a regular column for this website throughout the MotoGP season

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