Jerez MotoGP: James Toseland is biggest surprise for Valentino Rossi

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Valentino Rossi has admitted the performance of British rider James Toseland has surprised him more than the likes of impressive 250 graduates Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso.

Toseland grabbed the headlines on his MotoGP debut in Qatar earlier this month when he claimed a top six finish after he’d scored a stunning front row start.

The double World Superbike champion finished just 0.7secs behind Valentino Rossi, and the 29-year-old Italian believes James Toseland’s early form is a bigger surprise than Lorenzo and Dovizioso, who were both in the top four in Qatar.

Rossi said: “It is very positive that all the riders that come from the 250 class are very strong and ride the bike already very well.

“This type of 800 machine is very close to the 250 style, so they are so fast from the beginning.

“I was more surprised with James because a superbike is so different but he understands very fast the style of these bikes and he arrived very close to me.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt