Britain’s James Toseland put in a fantastic battling performance in his first ever MotoGP race to finish in the top six in Qatar.
The Tech 3 Yamaha rider has been in outstanding form throughout testing and practice this weekend, starting the race from second behind fellow rookie Jorge Lorenzo.
And the double World Superbike champion, although exhausted after battling with the likes of defending champion Casey Stoner and seven-time champion Valentino Rossi to get his sixth place, was happy with his performance.
James Toseland said: I gave it my best shot, I’m well happy.
“To be behind Valentino Rossi on the same bike is amazing.”
Toseland and team-mate Colin Edwards were not quite on exactly the same Yamaha YZR-M1 as the Italian and second placed Jorge Lorenzo as they are still to receive the pneumatic valve upgrade to their Yamaha engines.
But with these set to arrive imminently, Toseland is looking forward to seeing how this can improve his performances in the future.
“When the new bike comes we (Toseland and Edwards) can be competitive. I have had some great support and I can only get better,” said the 27-year-old.
Coming from such a successful World Superbike career, Toseland admits he still has a lot to learn in MotoGP, not least racing with others around him and fighting for positions.
But finishing in the top six in his first MotoGP, he has already proved he’s not just making up the numbers and is looking forward to more battles with the top riders in the future.
Toseland added: “I’m just learning, I have never been in a race situation with people around me. It’s just lack of experience overtaking people so I have to learn.”
See more reaction from the floodlit Qatar MotoGP in this week’s MCN, out Wednesday, March 12, 2008.