China MotoGP: James Tosleand starts from third row

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James Toseland will start from the third row of the grid for tomorrow’s China MotoGP race as he continued to make big strides in learning the challenging Shanghai circuit.

The Tech 3 Yamaha rider posted a best time of 1:59.254 on his last flying lap to finish seventh fastest.

He had been as high as fifth in the closing stages and the 27-year-old said:  “I’ve had to dig deep this weekend because this is a much tougher track to master than Portugal. It is tough learning it on race tyres so to then throw the qualifiers in with the extra grip it almost makes it a completely new track again because you’ve got to go so much faster.”

Toseland had issues with his first and second Michelin qualifying tyres, but neither grip related as he continued to impress in his rookie campaign.

On my first tyre I was out on my second bike and we’d changed the clutch and I had a problem with the gear shifter. I went out on my first bike on the second tyre and pinned it out of the double left and had a really big moment.

“My feet came off the pegs and I hit the screen so that was the end of that lap too. I only had one tyre really to make a time but without the experience of knowing how hard to push with the first two, I wasn’t really up to speed.

“I went out on the last tyre and braked a bit early for one corner and ran a bit wide at another but these things are going to happen on a brand new track. I was fifth when I did my best lap but unfortunately I just dropped off the second row.

“That can happen though when you don’t know the track so well against this class of field. I’m confident for tomorrow rain or shine but congratulations to Colin (Edwards) and the team.

“He did a great job and its good for me to see Colin performing like that because it shows what the package is capable of. That’s why I can’t wait to get to some tracks I know.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt