China MotoGP: James Toseland upbeat despite 13th place
The Tech 3 Yamaha rider had only ever seen the tough Shanghai circuit on TV or on computer games before today, but a time of 2:01.798 saw him finish 13th quickest overall after he’d been 16th this morning.
Toseland, who goes into Sunday’s 22-lap race holding fifth place in the world championship standings after a brilliant start to his MotoGP career, said: “This track is not too bad to learn but there are two or three places where you really need track knowledge.
“But I’m 0.7secs off Colin (Edwards) on a track I’ve only done 40 laps on and it’s more than a two minute lap, so I’m pretty pleased and confident I can move much further forward tomorrow.”
Toseland’s main issue was finding a set-up on his Yamaha YZR-M1 machine that handled Shanghai’s notorious bumpy sections.
He added: “The main issue is learning about the bumps and getting the bike to handle them. There are a few bumps in a few tricky places and they are big enough to really upset the bike.
“You have to be right on a good line always to get a good lap time.
Getting the bike to manage the bumps is quite tough. The set-up I had from Portugal was quite a way off for here.
“I was hoping the base setting I’ve got would really gel quickly on new tracks and if it doesn’t it is quite difficult to develop the set-up, but my team are doing a great job with the time we have got.
“Because it is such a long lap I can’t do many laps and I’m not coming back to the bits that I’m struggling on quickly enough to learn more about what I need to improve.
“One of the toughest places to master is the first corner. Because you are on full lean you can’t brake that hard so if you are slightly too quick mid-corner for when it tightens up you have to pick the bike up and it ruins your corner speed.”