Todd Ellis and Emmanuelle Clement conclude rookie season second in FIM World Sidecar championship

Impressive ending to campaign in Estoril...
Ellis and Clement. Photo: FIMEllis and Clement. Photo: FIM
Ellis and Clement. Photo: FIM

Todd Ellis and passenger Emmanuelle Clement ended their rookie season in the FIM World Sidecar championship in the runner-up spot after their three races in Portugal - where they ended the weekend with three top five results at Estoril.

The weather was the deciding factor in all three races as tyre choice in the differing conditions made racing very challenging for the North Kelsey rider and his French teammate.

Free practice was held in damp conditions with some parts of the track dry and others wet.

So the best course of action was to go out on slick tyres and try for a quick lap before the rain set in.

Ellis/Clement timed it to perfection and were fastest in the session.

But later in the day tyre choice was easier as the rain returned and full wets were the obvious choice.

Ellis/Clement secured second place in the first session and were unable to improve in final qualifying so started the races from the front row alongside Reeves/Rousseau.

As the lights went out at the start of race one it was Reeves who came out of the first corner in the lead from Ellis and the two outfits began to pull away from the following pack.

But the Birchall Brothers who had gambled on the track drying out began to make inroads into the two leaders.

They soon passed Ellis and Reeves and pulled away to an unassailable lead leaving Reeves and Ellis to fight off the attentions of Streuer/Remme who eventually passed both British teams.

But Reeves encountered a problem with the fuel pump and pulled out leaving Ellis to chase after Streuer.

But on lap 14 of 18 the red flag halted the action when an outfit further down the order crashed and a result was declared with Ellis/Clement awarded third place.

Race two was later in the afternoon and this time the weather had worsened with heavy rain falling.

As they got underway it was Ellis/Clement on the Santander Salt LCR Yamaha who took the led to the first corner but Reeves/Rousseau had the better drive and exited the corner in the lead.

With the conditions getting worse and the rain getting heavier Ellis was doing well in second place but then spun in the dire conditions and dropped to sixth on lap seven.

They began their comeback and passed Paivarinta/DeHaas on lap 10 but then suffered another spin two laps later which allowed Paivarinta back through.

Luckily the rest of the field were not near enough to take advantage and Ellis remained in sixth position, but once again Reeves pulled off with a slipping clutch which elevated Ellis back up to fifth place where he remained to the chequered flag.

With Schlosser/Fries completing the race in third place they had secured sufficient points to take the title, so the third race on Sunday was to make sure Ellis/Clement held their second place in the World championship and again in difficult conditions Ellis/Clement crossed the finish line in fourth place which was more than enough to end their rookie season in second place, an amazing result for the pairing.

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