Brno MotoGP: James Toseland 13th after crash

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British rider James Toseland had a tough start to the Brno GP today as a crash and severe grip problems with Michelin’s front tyre left the Tech 3 Yamaha rider down in 13th place.

Toseland clocked a best time of 1.59.328 as he finished some way off the leading pace on yet another tough day for Michelin.

The major plus point for the double World Superbike champion was the performance of an updated YZR-M1 engine he received from Yamaha in the Czech Republic.

Featuring 1000 more revs and increased horsepower, Toseland said: “It looks a little bit worse than it actually is because we have moved in a good direction with the set-up. And the new engine is fantastic so a massive thanks to Yamaha for giving the team and me this level of support.

“It just feels stronger and you seem to be getting through the gearbox a lot more progressively. And it keeps on pulling once you get into fifth and sixth gear. You see the red gear change light flash up a bit quicker than usual and up the hill you can certainly feel the bike is still pulling and it is a big improvement. We have just got a lot of hard work to do with Michelin.

“Now the track is cleaning up a little we are getting more life out of the tyre and the grip level is not so bad. But we can still make it better and I am staying positive and trying to work as hard as I can with Michelin.”

Talking about his crash at the Kevin Schwantz downhill right-hand corner with just 13 minutes of the session remaining, the 27-year-old said: “When I ran off I just braked a bit too late down the hill.

“I thought I was going to be able to stay on it but it high-sided me in the gravel. It was only a small tip off but then the chain fell off so I had to put that back on. I cleaned it all off and I went quicker on the last two laps even with that.

“But with the front tyre we are just trying to find a combination between having out and out grip and the endurance. You can go as soft as you want to find some grip but you have also got to finish the 22-laps.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt