Britain's James Toseland was in impressive form in Qatar today
Qatar MotoGP: Nervous James Toseland delighted with third
07 March 2008 23:20
James Toseland shrugged off a crash and a bout of first race nerves to make a brilliant start to his MotoGP career in Qatar tonight.
The Tech 3 Yamaha rider was third fastest at the end of the first night’s free practice, with a best lap of 1:55.812 beaten only by reigning world champion Casey Stoner and fellow Yamaha rookie Jorge Lorenzo.
James Toseland, who was second quickest at last week’s IRTA test session under floodlights, escaped injury when he lost the front of his YZR-M1 in the first session.
But he quickly rediscovered his confidence with an inspired performance in the second session.
He admitted he was struck by a surprise bout of the jitters before preparations for his first premier class race on Sunday night.
And James Toseland said: “I’ve got to admit that I was a bit nervous before the first session and I don’t know why.
“I’ve been fine in testing but all of a sudden it dawned on me that this is it - the start of my MotoGP career.
“I was thinking too much about the unfamiliar things of being in a MotoGP weekend, and after the first session I just needed half-an-hour to chill out.
“I’m happy with my times and I’m just pleased that I have done similar things to what I did in the test.
“There was a lot of hype coming into the first race after my testing results and it’s nice to back it up when everybody is watching and its all official. It proves I can do well in this class.”
Talking about his crash, Toseland partly blamed a dirty track and partly blamed his own over exuberance.
“The track was dusty and dirty in the first session and I was using softer compound tyres just to get a feeling for the conditions.
“When I put the better tyres in I instantly had a good feeling, but I wanted to do a 1.55 on my second lap.
“I went into the corner too hard and should have waited a bit longer to build up my speed. I just lost the front.”