James Toseland‚s Tech 3 Yamaha team boss Herve Poncharal has praised the British rookie after he shrugged off a serious bout of bronchitis to claim a deserved top six finish in Jerez.
Toseland was a major doubt to even start the Jerez race just 48 hours earlier when doctors struggled to bring a rapidly rising temperature under control.
But the double World Superbike champion produced a determined display and he only lost fifth place at the last corner when Italian rookie Andrea Dovizioso nudged him wide.
Poncharal said: "I am speechless about James. He has been in a really bad condition and we were really doubtful about whether he would ride at the weekend. For the race distance on this physical track we had a big question mark, but what he did showed the mark of a true champion.
"He was fighting very hard at a pace he was never at in practice because of his physical condition. He never gave up and was very strong throughout the whole race. He was almost fifth but the last corner is always a difficult place here. Dovizioso tried a bit too hard to pass but I'm still happy.
"James is improving all the time and for sure with the new engine and feeling fit in Estoril he will be even better."
Toseland got final confirmation in Jerez that he will definitely have Yamaha's latest spec pneumatic valve motor for the next round in Estoril, Portugal.