British king Josh Elliott out to seal step up in class to British Superbike
Newly-crowned British Superstock 1000cc champion Josh Elliott is now on the hunt for a move into the British Superbike class for 2016.
The 21-year-old Fermanagh man, who clinched the title on Sunday during the penultimate round at Silverstone, had a season-long battle with fellow Ulsterman Alastair Seeley and is hoping his silverware success will open a few doors into the British Championship's premier class.
"British Superbike is such a major series and while I have raced in Europe before and Jonathan Rea has given us all hope of success at world level, I think the next natural step for me would be into BSB," explained Morello Racing's Elliott, who looked a little shell-shocked when he was crowned champion on Sunday.
"It has taken a full 24 hours to sink in and I'm now starting to realise what we have all achieved at Morello Racing. No matter what happens from here on in, it's nice to be able to say I've won a British title, but it has given me the desire for more success."
Referring to his final-corner crash while fighting for the lead with Seeley at Brands Hatch back in July, he added: "It's a massive relief to get it out of the way and now we can go to the final round at Brands Hatch in just over a week's time and do our best to correct the one big mistake I've made this year."
The rest of Elliott's season has been filled with podiums - 10 to be exact from 11 races, with four wins and six second-placed finishes - more than enough to see off former double British champion Seeley on the factory-backed Tyco BMW.
"I've a lot of respect for Alastair," said Elliott after his educational season-long battle with the Carrick hard charger.
"I learned a lot from him this year and in the end, the consistency I've shown and the package the Morello guys gave me helped me win the title."
Elliott's size and stature are perfect for the Superbike class, while his strength and the physical nature of his riding style will hopefully open the doors he so richly deserves. Last season's Stock 1000 champion Danny Buchan has already enjoyed podium success in BSB this season, and Elliott believes he too can achieve similar goals.
"It wouldn't be a disaster if I had to spend another season in the Superstock 1000 class, but of course I would like to explore the opportunities in BSB," he said.
"I wouldn't want to join a team that have no experience though, so it will not be easy getting a Superbike ride. I also have an option in Europe, which I can't rule out either for next year."
Elliott is currently negotiating a deal to ride at the Sunflower Trophy Races on October 24, where the new British Superstock 1000cc champion would like to join Buchan and Seeley on the competitive grid for a winner-takes-all battle.