Ballinamallard Bullet Josh Elliott on target for 2017 glory
Josh Elliott suffered the curse of the number one plate in this season's British Superstock Championship with local team Tyco BMW. But the Ballinamallard Bullet, who was a convincing champion in the same series back in 2015, is now looking to re-load, with a number of potential options in the pipeline for 2017.
Speaking candidly of a season that produced just one win amid a flurry of controversy, the 22-year-old, who is renowned for his speed on track and his introverted nature off it, said: "It was my first time in a professional team and, looking back, I should have had a bit more confidence in myself and shouted louder when I felt I needed something."
Elliott, who possibly found the prospect of working alongside 14-time TT winner Ian Hutchinson in the same class, on the same machinery, a little daunting, added: "The lads in the team were great craic, and by the end of the season I did feel very much part of the set-up, so I'm sad to be leaving."
Reflecting on an up and down year, he said: "I'm not into the blame game but on reflection, as I said, I was maybe a bit too quiet and after a couple of on-track incidents I lost my way a bit and my confidence.
"I even doubted my ability at one stage but it's been a good learning experience and it has motivated me for next season."
The aforementioned incidents at Knockhill and Snetterton, where Elliott appeared to be unfairly treated, involved eventual champion Taylor Mackenzie.
But for the tall athletic Fermanagh ace, it's now water under the bridge, as he prepares for another new challenge.
"We are currently working on a deal with a team who will have support from one of the leading Japanese manufacturers and on top of that, should we secure it, I will also get to test the team's Superbike during the year," explained Elliott, whose main career focus remains very much on making it into the premier British Superbike ranks - and sooner rather than later.
"Yeah the plan this year on the BMW was to jump from Stock 1000 up to Superbike for 2017, but we've had to take a step sideways and that's okay," he said pragmatically.
"Danny Buchan is back in the series for '17. He won the Superstock title the year before me and another former champion, Keith Farmer, is also in there. If Mackenzie stays and maybe even (Alastair) Seeley joins in, that will be five former champions in Stock 1000.
"Apart from Taylor, I'm the only one who hasn't had a shot at Superbike, and the goal is still to make that jump," he said.
"I'm only 22, so I have a bit of time, but as so many other riders have found to their cost, it needs to be on a factory-supported package to give you the best chance possible," said Elliott.
"A bit like Glenn Irwin this season," he added.