MotoGP Sepang test: James Toseland talks top ten

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James Toseland claimed the eighth fastest time on the final day of testing in Malaysia today, despite the British rider continuing to be plagued by a severe tyre chatter problem on the new 2008 Tech 3 Yamaha YZR-M1.

The 27-year-old secured a morale-boosting top ten finish in baking hot conditions with a best lap of 2.01.745. That was set on a soft Michelin qualifying tyre at the end of the final day, and was 1.419s behind American Nicky Hayden's best of 2.00326, which the Repsol Honda rider also posted with a qualifier.

The double World Superbike champion told MCN: "Today the chatter was really bad, even worse than yesterday and I thought that was really bad. It took until 4pm for us to finally find something but it got a bit frustrating at one point. I couldn't get into the 2.02s for a long time and yesterday I was easily in that bracket.

"I was bewildered at one point and we changed a front tyre construction and it helped a bit to make it rideable. I got back into the 2.02s but then I had to do work on qualifying tyres.

"I'm a  bit disappointed with times on race tyres but I'm a lot faster than in November. The chatter was coming from the rear first and then to the front. With the softer construction front tyre it didn't transfer as much.

"Before that it was that bad I couldn't hold the throttle. I've made progress though and gone forward and to do a 2.01.7 and finish eighth fastest is another good result for me.

"The qualifiers worked well but I didn't feel 100 per cent comfortable because the extra grip meant we got a bit more chatter. I think this is going to be one of the toughest challenges I'll face so I'm pleased we've made some good progress.

"It's a tough track and the conditions are tough. In six days on the track I have got into the 2.01s, which I'm really pleased with. If I can get used to it here then I should be ok anywhere."

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt