James Toseland goes into this weekend’s Brno World Superbike round in the Czech Republic with two clear choices open to him for 2008.
The Tech 3 Yamaha MotoGP team has made it clear they want the WSB series leader for next year, and has the lure of a works Yamaha M1 on Michelins as its main draw and – most likely – Colin Edwards as team- mate. MCN understands the Dunlop sponsorship deal the team currently has as its primary source of funding will not be renewed, and the team will swap to Michelin.
In response, Honda is understood to have put together an unprecedented package to keep Toseland in WSB for another year, spearheading what would effectively be an HRC works team run by Ten Kate, using an all-new Fireblade, before moving to MotoGP in 2009 on a works RCV. Money would be commensurate with his status within Honda – good.
The current World Superbike series leader’s manager, Roger Burnett, told MCN: “There is hot, hot interest from Yamaha as a company, and not just Tech 3. But we have not had an official offer. An formal offer on the same bike and tyres as Rossi would be a seriously attractive option.
“Brno is when James will get the final proposal from Ten Kate and Hannspree, then it will be decision time. The chance to be an official HRC rider is very attractive and something he would have to give very serious consideration to.”