Jerez MotoGP Reaction: Heroic James Toseland claims sixth

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James Toseland came within metres of a brilliant top five finish in only his second MotoGP race in Jerez this afternoon.

The British rider claimed a second successive sixth place in front of 131,000 fans as he surrendered fifth in a hectic last corner tangle with Italian duo Loris Capirossi and Andrea Dovizioso.

Toseland was actually fifth going into the last corner, but he was pushed out wide by an aggressive move by JIR Scot rider Dovizioso, which let Capirossi dive through to claim his best result for Suzuki.

Toseland, who has been hit by a severe bout of bronchitis all weekend, recovered from a sluggish start that left him 10th at the end of lap one to surge through the field.

He passed Chris Vermeulen with an aggressive move on lap 19 at the Curva Sito Pons, and then at the same place disposed of Dovizioso on lap 24 and Capirossi on the penultimate lap.

He had to settle for sixth though after the final corner chaos, which ensured he became the first British rider since 1990 to claim successive top six finishes in the premier class.

Toseland said: “ I really had to dig deep in that race. At one point it looked like I might not be able to ride so to finish sixth is a great result.

”What I was worried about was if I couldn’t breath properly then that might have made me dizzy in the race but luckily I was fine.

”The bike felt great and the front Michelin tyre worked great. That’s why I was able to pass all the guys at the same place coming onto the back straight.

”I couldn’t pass anybody down the straight and the only place I could pass was where I did. I was getting good drive off the corner but I still couldn’t get side by side on the straights to line them up for a pass on the brakes.

It would have been do-or-die on the brakes, but because my front tyre was so good it really hooked well mid-corner round turn five onto the back straight and my corner speed carried me underneath Vermeulen, Dovizioso and Capirossi.

I was disappointed not to keep fifth, especially after I’d battled so hard for it.

The last corner was a bit manic and I don’t know how Andrea stayed on the track because he was in there so hot. I got a bit pushed out and Loris came up the inside.

To finish sixth like in Qatar and back that result up on a track I’ve never raced at in my condition is really good for me.

This bike and this team are capable of being in the top six, even with a touch of bronchitis.

I’m looking forward to getting the new engine now.

We are one of the few that can actually look forward to getting something new for the next race and I can’t wait for the new engine.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt