Josh Elliott scored championship points on his British Superbike debut at Snetterton last weekend.

The Ballinamallard rider fulfilled a long held ambition when he climbed on board a Tyco BMW Superbike for the latest round of the series, and proved he was up to the challenge, bringing the bike home in fifteenth place despite never having sat on the bike prior to the practice session.

Josh arrived at the track expecting to compete in his second Superstock race of the year, but received the unexpected good news that he would be stepping up a level just minutes before the first practice session was due to start, following news that regular Superbike rider Christian Iddon had failed to recover fully from an accident at Knockhill two weeks previously.

“It was pretty crazy to be honest,” recalled Josh.

“I didn’t expect it. Christian was there and willing to ride but they said that the wound on his arm was quite open and they were worried it would get infected.

“About ten minutes before the first session they were in the back of the truck. Stuart Higgs the race director of the event was saying to him that they didn’t want him to take the risk.

“One of the guys from the crew said ‘Get your leathers on, you could be riding Superbike here!’”

Josh jumped on the bike looking to start a steep learning curve, but suffered an immediate setback when mechanical failure brought an abrupt end to his first practice session. “Unfortunately when I did get out I only got four laps and then the engine blew up,” he said.

“I was using Christian’s bike and we think maybe the crash affected the internal parts of the engine, because it hadn’t been out on the track since then.

“It wasn’t ideal to miss that first session because I really needed that track time to learn the bike. I had never been on the bike, so I was really having to play catch up from that point.

“We just tried our best to learn the package. It is such a big difference from the Superstock bike. It is a completely different chassis and the tyres are a lot grippier.

“To take the full potential out of it you really have to be pushing to the limit, and on that bike the limit is a lot higher than the Superstock bike.

“My limit was nowhere near where it could be, so it was about learning that over the weekend and trying to get faster and faster, and trying to stay on it.”

Josh’s final qualifying time would have earned him a spot in the top ten at the same event last year, but in this highly competitive season he started from 20th.

He quickly hauled his way through the field on race day however.

“The race went well,” he said.

“I got a good start and there was a few collisions in turn one and two and I got myself in behind a good quick rider so I was able to work my way up through the pack.

I was sitting 13th and it got to about three quarters race distance and we started to struggle with tyre wear.

“I think it was lack of experience and I started to struggle, and I lost two places in the last few laps. I kept a good pace though and 15th was a brilliant first race.”

Josh managed to out race teammate Andy Reid, finishing 23 seconds ahead of the rider that has been signed up by Tyco BMW for the remainder of the Superbike season.

With Christian Iddon expected to be back on board the bike at the next race Josh is hoping his performance has impressed the team boss, but he admits he has no idea what the rest of the season holds.

“I don’t know what happens next.

“Andy Reid who was a teammate last weekend has been signed for the rest of the season, and it’s a bit gutting whenever you go out and beat your teammate and he gets the deal, but that’s the way it is.

“I will be in contact with the team boss Philip Neill and we will try to work something out. The Superbike class is where I want to be and I really enjoyed it. It’s something I want to continue doing.

“It was great to get out and show what I can do. It was my first ever time on the Superbike against guys who have been in the championship for years, and I was only a wee bit off them.

“Given time on the bike and more experience I know I could be up there.

“The next race is in three weeks’ time at Brands Hatch and I’m not too sure what will be happening.

“Hopefully I’m there. It would be nice but I will just have to wait and see.”