Jerez MotoGP: James Toseland battles illness in Spain

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James Toseland posted the eighth best time in Jerez today despite a torrid opening to the Spanish MotoGP for the British rider.

Fresh from his stunning debut in Qatar earlier this month when he claimed a front row start and a top six finish, Toseland was seriously hindered by a nasty bout of bronchitis as he began preparations for his first European MotoGP race.

His condition was so severe at the end of the day that he needed lengthy treatment on a drip after doctors found his body temperature had got up to 38.7 degrees.

Despite his problems, which included a small crash at the second corner in this afternoon’s second free practice session, he was only 0.707secs off fastest rider Jorge Lorenzo, who thrilled a sizeable home crowd in Jerez.

James Toseland posted a best time of 1:41.028, which was a massive 0.6secs faster than he managed in this morning’s opening session.

He was only able to complete 15 laps this afternoon, as he grew increasingly weak from the bronchitis.

Speaking exclusively to MCN while undergoing treatment in the Clinica Mobile this afternoon, the 27-year-old said: “I feel pretty rough.

“Unfortunately I have come down with bronchitis, which is just what I need for my second race.

“I was really bad yesterday and honestly I don’t think I’d have been able to ride. I could hardly talk yesterday. I felt a bit rough on Wednesday night after the flight down here and I thought it was a cold.

“Then my chest started to get real tight and my throat got pretty bad.

“I only left the motorhome twice and once was to come to the Clinica Mobile to get checked out. I woke up this morning a bit better but after riding twice I’ve hit a brick wall.

“I took some medication yesterday but it made my head feel a bit fuzzy, but didn’t take anything today so it didn’t give me a fuzzy feeling on the bike.

“I’m drained of energy and my temperature got up to 38.7 so they were a bit worried about that and put me on a drip in the Clinica Mobile.

“The problem is I can’t take a full breath and just riding breathing at half the normal rate tires you out really quickly because of the lack of oxygen going to your brain.

“Considering how I feel, to be only 0.7secs off is pretty good. I just need to find half-a-second and that can come from me just feeling better.

“We are in the ballpark and Colin has proved how competitive the package is at this track.”

James Toseland conceded that his crash was his own fault, admitting he was just pushing too hard on a new Michelin front tyre.

Ironically Alex Burnett, son of Toseland’s manager Roger, caught the incident on camera.

“The crash was a small mistake. I just pushed a bit too hard on the front in turn two and went down.

“The grip was better on the front tyre I was using and it just bottomed out. I should have done a couple of laps and then changed the front suspension setting to cope with the better grip.

“But the bike is working pretty well but hopefully the temperature will be a bit lower.

“It was quite a bit warmer than the test and the tyres I chose are suited better for cooler conditions. I’ll be ready for Sunday.

“I might not be at 100 per cent but I’ll be giving it everything,” added the double World Superbike champion.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt