James Toseland furious with Michelin

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James Toseland blasted Michelin as he had to settle for a disappointing ninth place in Laguna Seca.

The British rider made a fantastic start and was third at the first corner, but grip issues with Michelin’s hard compound tyres saw him plummet down to ninth as he got picked off by Bridgestone duo Toni Elias and Ben Spies in the last two laps.

Toseland was one of several Michelin riders to have serious grip issues all weekend, with the French factory adopting a safety first approach with a range of hard compound tyres.

But with temperatures much cooler than normal, the tyres didn’t get to working temperature fast enough, and Toseland said: “I worked hard for that and for ninth.

"We really deserved seventh at least. I did low 23s all through the race and at the beginning of the weekend that looked like a top six finish and I’m ninth. It has been a difficult weekend and we know the problem was with Michelin.

"They have to rectify that for the next race because there is a rumour that there will be a one-make tyre rule again and I think it would be a shame for a company of Michelin’s size and stature to lose the opportunity to be racing in MotoGP.

"With the money they have got and the technology they have available to them I can’t believe we are this far behind. It is embarrassing for them and this should be a big wake up call. This is their last chance for sure.

"They apologised to me and to all the team because everything else in this garage is capable of a lot more and that is frustrating. We should be doing a lot better.

"I haven’t got a bad relationship with Michelin but we have had two really disappointing races with them and if we go to Brno and have the same results they have possibly lost the MotoGP world championship again by not competing here.

"It’s as simple as that and for a company that size that has the potential to compete with Bridgestone, it is disappointing.”

 

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt