These are the first pictures of James Toseland riding his 2008 factory Yamaha YZR-M1 in full livery on the opening day of testing in Jerez today (February 16, 2008).
Sporting a striking blue and yellow paint scheme for the French-based Tech 3 team, Toseland has made a flying start to the penultimate test session of the winter.
Shortly after midday, Toseland was lying second fastest on the timesheets with a best lap of 1.40.909.
Toseland’s best time on his 23rd lap was just 0.197s slower than fellow factory Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi, with the 27-year-old British rider the only other rider aside from Rossi and reigning world champion Casey Stoner to duck under the 1.40 barrier so far.
This is the double World Superbike champion’s second test session at the Jerez circuit, venue for next month’s Spanish GP. Italian Rossi has made a blistering start on the Fiat Yamaha, posting a best time of 1.40.712 as Yamaha dominated early proceedings under bright and sunny skies in Jerez.
Stoner demoted Toseland to third a few minutes ago with a lap of 1.40.893, just 0.016s quicker than the Tech 3 rider.
Toseland’s Tech 3 Yamaha team-mate Colin Edwards is currently fifth fastest, with Nicky Hayden logging a 1.41.197 to occupy fourth.