Misano MotoGP: James Toseland confident after positive start

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British rider James Toseland cut a much happier figure in Misano today as he ended the opening day of free practice with the 10th best time.

After struggling with Michelin’s severe grip issues in the last three races, Toseland was able to run a fast and consistent pace around the top six throughout today, and he ended 10th on the combined timesheets.

A best of 1.36.105 set in scorching hot conditions this afternoon gave Toseland a glimmer of hope that he can mount a podium assault in Sunday’s 28-lap race, and he said: “I’m pretty pleased to be back in the top ten and we worked hard on the race set-up, only running one set of tyres through the whole session.

“I did 23 laps on the tyres and I was doing low and consistent 36s. We have had some issues with the tyres and I really wanted to make sure we have got the endurance and getting lots of information for the race set-up.

“I think if we had put a fresh set of tyres in at the end there was definitely a 35 in there, so I’m not too worried about being in tenth because it feels like there is plenty more to come. It is good because I’m able to do the pace quite comfortably.

“At the last three races I have been uncomfortable on 12 or 13 corners where here it’s just two! It’s a good base to start from and a big thanks to Michelin. We knew they had the capabilities to do it and they are working hard. There is still a lot to do but at least it shows they are pushing hard.

“I am sat here knowing that with hard work we might have an outside chance of fighting for a podium and that’s what I’m here for. At the last three rounds I’ve had no chance of that and I’ve known it on Friday afternoon so I feel well up for it. We need good and consistent grip to give Michelin good feedback and give them a direction they want and that’s what we have done today.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt