Estoril MotoGP: James Toseland delighted with Yamaha engine upgrade

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British rider James Toseland has spoken of his delight at the performance of Yamaha’s latest spec pneumatic valve engine that he used for the first time on a weather-hit first day in Estoril.

Making his first appearance at the Portuguese circuit, Toseland posted the 13th quickest time with a 1.40.055 leaving him just 1.5s adrift of fastest rider and world championship leader Dani Pedrosa.

This morning’s rain-hit first session did little to help Toseland learn the challenging Estoril circuit, and he had to switch to his spare YZR-M1 this afternoon when he crashed on his first lap out of the pits at turn seven.

The double World Superbike champion lost ten minutes before he was back out on track, but he was delighted with the new Yamaha motor, which factory duo Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo have used throughout winter testing.

“The new engine is definitely better. It has more acceleration and the lines you take are different because the power comes in quite aggressive when you are hard on the throttle. But you can exit the corner better with the extra power,” said Toseland.

He added: “It is quite a difficult track just on the basis that you have got such tight corners, particularly on the high speed straight where you have to get the braking point for the slow first corner dead right. Then there’s the tricky chicane, which you just have to ride round and round to get the hang of it.

“A cold tyre caught me out on my first lap this afternoon. I think with the rain this morning the track wasn’t so clean. I went into the corner steady and at a pace where you don’t even think about crashing. Next thing I was sat on my backside and twisted my right ankle again that I hurt in testing at Jerez.

“But I’m really happy progress. I’m not too far off already and we effectively lost a session this morning with the weather.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt