James Toseland: In his own words

Published: 15 April 2002

Starguide: How was dinner?

JamesToseland: Hi...yeah it was ok...we've eaten at the same restaurant for the last 3 nights now. And there's not that much on the menu. Steak is about it. Other than that it's noodles and more noodles!

Masalmon: At the last few rounds no-one has really threatened Bayliss, how do you see this changing as we come into the European rounds?

JamesToseland: Good question. This is going to be a difficult round for him with the Japanese wild cards and it's been renowned for Dunlop, as opposed the last three rounds. Europe is more 50-50 with Michelina nd Dunlop. Possibly more Dunlop. It's going to be a tyre situation and it'll be a lot closer. I think it's just the package he's got at the moment, with the Ducati and the Michelins, just suits him, and the first three rounds just suited that package.

Dant: Do you feel old when you see all these 15 year olds racing in GPs?

JamesToseland: *laughs* No because I've still got the old farts in superbikes! I'm still young by superbike standards so that's ok

The west wing: Hi James, Can you put to rest please whether you really do play the piano, thanks..........p.s. good luck this weekend

JamesToseland: *laughs* Er yeah, I do actually play the piano The big thing is I joined a band last November and people got to hear about that and it's gone from there really but yeah, I've played the piano since I was about 8

Redbricktigger: How bad does Heil Hodgson sing?

JamesToseland: *laughs* Er...he'll admit himself he's not a very good singer but we might have a gig at the Ducati Week in June, and I said I'd pull him on stage and he didn't sound too keen. But after a few beers I'm sure he will. He said he'd play the triangle, or maybe the spoons. But I'm no Bryan Adams, so I'm not shouting about it.

Masalmon: At the last round you looked to be struggling a bit, is your bike to the same spec as Neil's?

JamesToseland Yeah, the bikes are exactly the same. We, well, it's just basically the experience, track knowledge and the learning curve. Neil’s had a few years on the Ducati already, but we're getting there. It's over a second quicker than last year and my race times aren't far off the podium last year. But the riders at the front are going so much quicker it's not really showing at the moment, so it's just a case of me going even quicker.

Tallisker: You started in Honda CB500s. Do you think the Monster S4 Challenge is a way in or just an expensive way of advertising the bike? - expensive for participants, I mean

JamesToseland: Difficult one. The one-make series is definitely a good idea. Because the unfortunate problem is that finance means it is a lot cheaper to do and it gives much more chance of showing potential because it shows rider ability, but I'm not sure about the bike choice. It might have been better on something like a 748, something closer to what we ride. But it was £15,000 for the ride for a year which works out cheap for a race year, but at the start it would work out a lot in one hit, and I know we couldn't have afforded it in one hit. We spent a lot more over the years but not in one lot. But I think it was that one off payment and the bike that put people off. No disrespect to the Monsters, but I think it would be far more appealing for younger riders with a sportier bike. I think one make series are a very good idea, though, because you don't have semi factory riders struggling to compete with factory riders.

Masalmon: for James: How do you see the World Superbike Championship developing now that four-strokes have arrived in the GP class?

JamesToseland: I was wondering how long I'd wait for that question! I've heard about the Ducati GP bike, and that's a big, big project. I haven't heard anything at all like WSB won't be running. As long as WSB is a production class and people can ride our bikes on the road our class is safe. If GP bikes are being made for the rode then it might rock the boat a bit. But if Rossi is going to be so dominant, like Bayliss, then it might swing back to WSB, but Bayliss will have to pack it in for a bit to make it more interesting. Because I think it's all about the racing, like when Doohan was so dominant in GPs, it became a little boring to watch. As long as the racing is good there's always a place for production bike racing…

Garydunne: Last year at Sugo was a disaster in terms of tires, have you got it licked this year ?

JamesToseland: Hang on a sec...I was actually in the bath when you called... So just give me a minute to get out, and I'll be right back Sorry about this.

JamesToseland: Only for the Michelin guys. It wasn't really for the Dunlop guys. I think because Dunlop do so much testing here especially with the Japanese riders, they just have it dialled in. But the Michelins have made a vast improvement this year so it'll be much closer. I still think it's in favour of the Dunlop. But it's nowhere near as much of a gap.

Redbricktigger: Are you looking for a girlfriend? If so what sort are you looking for?

JamesToseland: *laughs* Redbriktigger?...hmm....Currently I'm single at the moment. I usually go for brunettes But I've been single for a while now so I'm not fussy. Why?

sammie18: Hi James hope you r ok ......not heard from you for ages but you've been doing really well,how r u? PS hurry up with that letter!!!lol

JamesToseland: Hello Sorry... I'll speak to you soon keep in touch

Masalmon: Given your position as number 2 rider, what are your expectations regarding Ducati in the MotoGp series?

JamesToseland: To be honest, not sure. Obviously there is this new GP bike coming out. I would be thinking that they would want an Italian rider on it for the first year. The factory riders are doing really well at the moment Xaus, Bayliss and Bostrom. It's difficult, because you don't know if they'll keep them in WSB to win that championship, and the second r third rider into GPs to develop it or put the best riders in MotoGP to try and get the best results. To be honest at this age, being 21, I don't want to be a development rider. I want to be able to go racing competitively to get the best results. I don't want to be working really hard to get into the top 15 or whatever But it's up to Ducati and whatever they decide. But we hope to be the factory team next year. With GSE as the factory team with Tardozzi going to MotoGP. But that still doesn't determine which riders are going and staying

Redbricktigger: Who do you think will be British champion this year?

JamesToseland: Erm. If Steve Hislop can stay consistent, then he's got the best package. Good rider and a very good bike...I think it's the same as me and Neils. And he's in a very good team. I rode for that team and it's very good, and I think Hislop and Bird will be very disappointed if they don't take the title this year with the development work needed on the Suzuki. Whereas the Ducat is a proven winner in that championship. But I think John's riding really well on the Suzuki, considering everything. He's ridden twins for quite a few years so, to go to fours, with a new Suzuki as well. I've seen the times and it's pretty quick what they are doing.

Jo d: You've been getting quite close to Neil in some races this year, are there any team orders or are you allowed to fight for position fair & square?

JamesToseland: No, we're allowed to fight for positions fair and square There are no team orders. There wouldn't be for any team at this stage in the championship.

01wind01: Ever thought of taking out an older woman?

JamesToseland *laughs* Exactly how old?

Corsa Sprocket: how much do you think you can improve on your time given the problems yesterday?

JamesToseland: Head and shoulders hopefully. We just had a bad day. The number one bike had a technical problem. There were crashes left, right and centre and it was being red flagged, and it was just one of those things. But it has forecast rain for tomorrow and if it rains we're really up the creek, because it's timed practise and to get in Superpole would be difficult. So hopefully it will be dry, touch wood, and we can get out and improve, get into Superpole and improve from there

Dpc: What do you think of the food in Japan?

JamesToseland: Yeah, it's ok...it's just different. I've been here five days now and we've been to the Indian once! And it's just tended to be meat, steaks and that and the local food is just so different, with chopsticks and noodles. I'm more of a meat and three veg kind of guy. It's a bit too much hassle after racing all day to be chasing food around with chopsticks.

Masalmon: With the outright dominance of the V-Twins, do you think that it is too late for the 4 cylinder bikes, should the rules have changed this year to allow a capacity increase?

JamesToseland: With the weight advantage they have given them...which I think is around 15kg...I've been behind a couple and they seem quick enough. But having never ridden one I can't comment on the chassis. But the Ducatis have been so dominant, it might be nice to make it closer. As I said, I'm all for one make series, or close racing. But I don't really know enough about the engineering side to offer an answer. But the Suzuki of Reynolds seems quick enough and I think it will be on the rule book for 2003, but don't take what I say as gospel.

Corsa Sprocket: How do you feel about losing Donington and riding at Silverstone in wsb?

JamesToseland: I don't know...I think it will be good racing, especially on the Grand Prix circuit. I went there for track inspection at the beginning of the year and it looked good. But you know at Donington, we were getting a really good crowd for superbikes. But it's whether that continues at Silverstone. But it's a shame because Donington was so good, and the problem for spectators is that Silverstone is so flat, they don't see as much as they do at Donington, because it's so undulating.

Happy: What do you think of the brolly babes in Japan?

JamesToseland: I'm not really keen on the Oriental look to be honest. I'm more after a traditional English girl, so I'm not to fussed I must admit...But some of them are very pretty.

01wind01: Don't you get bored talking about bikes? I know that's what you're here for, but still...

JamesToseland: So, after you earlier question and description...when and where are we meeting then...

Dant: If and when Neil moves to GP's, would you like to move with him and stay as his teammate or would you rather stay on your own in wsb to make your mark?

JamesToseland: Depends what year it is really. With Neil now at 28, he'll go where the best ride is to achieve his goal, which any racer will tell you is to be world champion. I've got a lot of respect for Neil. So if it is sooner rather than later then he'll go on his own. And I'll stay to learn my trade on superbikes. It's only me second year after all. But later on, I'll go for the best ride, and always that all important goal of world champion is what I want to achieve.

JamesToseland: Thanks for all your questions But I better go and get dressed and I'll be out in Kingdom nightclub, in Sheffield for all those that were asking. Thanks for all your questions and support and I'll be back in the UK soon and hopefully I'll see you all at Silverstone.