French MotoGP: James Toseland admits set-up mistake

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James Toseland admitted a lack of rear grip cost him dearly as he finished 15th on the opening day of the French MotoGP in Le Mans today.

A lack of weight on the rear of his Tech 3 Yamaha YZR-M1 saw Toseland post a best overall time 1:35.848, as he admitted a mistake with the set-up saw him only marginally improve his time from this morning.

The British rider, who is in the third race in a run of five tracks where he has no previous circuit knowledge, said: “I started off strong this morning but we pretty much hit a brick wall this afternoon. 

“We tried a new direction with the set-up and it was the wrong way, so it was a bit frustrating. It’s not the end of the world because we have got some good ideas for tomorrow.

“We know the direction that we went in was wrong and it was quite a lot wrong to be honest with how it was finding the grip.”

Talking about his specific problem, the 27-year-old said: “I just didn’t have enough weight on the rear and I couldn’t find any grip off the corners. It was spinning up a lot and I couldn’t drive off the longer corners and that’s what cost me in China too.

“We really need to improve in this area because entry speed and mid-corner I’m not too bad, it’s just we are losing all the time on the exit. I’m on full throttle and I can’t do anymore.

“Luckily my comments are the same as what the computer is saying so we know where we went wrong and my guys will sort it out as they always do.”

Toseland reckons he will now run a set-up close to what factory Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi uses on his Fiat-backed machine to help with rear grip tomorrow.

“Valentino pushes his rear tyre forward in the swingarm and we might have to do that to get more weight. Maybe I need to run a softer rear spring in the shock too so it loads up a bit quicker,” said Toseland.

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt