MotoGP Jerez Test: James Toseland ends 2007 in confident mood

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James Toseland ended his brilliant 2007 on a high in Jerez today (Thursday) as he finished the final winter test session with the ninth fastest overall time.

The British rider used a soft Michelin qualifying tyre for the first time to post his best time of 1.40.213. He was 11th quickest on race tyres, with a fastest lap of 1.41.276, which beat Randy de Puniet, Marco Melandri and Anthony West.

James Toseland, who claimed a second World Superbike crown in a remarkable 2007 that saw him clinch a deal with the Tech 3 Yamaha squad, completed three runs on qualifying rubber.

His first attempt saw him set a lap of 1.40.851, and on his next run he dropped that time down to a 1.40.558. He then completed three more short stints on race tyres before finishing his second MotoGP test with the last qualifying tyre that saw him clock a 1.40.213.

The 27-year-old told MCN: “I’m really happy. I tried a couple of qualifiers that Michelin wanted to test and I’m pleased I did because it is a different ball game once you’ve got that amount of grip to get used to.

“When you see the amount of time you can make up with a qualifier compared to a race tyre it can be as much as two seconds. The level of grip from the qualifier surprised me, and it’s a totally different discipline.

“To go two seconds faster than you usually do is a lot but we built up OK. I did a 40.8, then a 40.5 and then a 40.2 so I was getting used to it slowly. I’m over the moon at the moment and it is nice to be in the ballpark with only six days on the bike.”

See why James Toseland thinks every lap on a MotoGP motorcycle feels like a superpole lap in next week's MCN, available from Wednesday, December 5, 2007.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt