James Toseland eyes qualifying improvement

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Tech 3 Yamaha rider James Toseland has targeted an improvement in his qualifying performances as he looks to steer his rookie campaign back on track at the next race in Mugello.

Yamaha and Michelin have dominated in qualifying so far this season, with Jorge Lorenzo and Colin Edwards sharing four of the five pole positions in 2008.

Toseland’s team-mate Edwards has been on the front row in four races in 2008 and now the 27-year-old is looking to improve his own pace on soft qualifying rubber.

Toseland has one front row start to his name in Qatar at the season’s opening race and he said: “Michelin has got the advantage on qualifiers and I need to use that.

“Qualifying is so important because if you lose a couple of places off the line then it is so hard to get back by. It is so close so even if you are faster than the guy in front it is only by one or two tenths a lap.

“So it is very difficult with the quality of riders and the bikes. Qualifying is definitely a skill you have to work on. To go two or three seconds faster quicker than you have been going all weekend means things happen a lot quicker and your body position is crucial.

“You need to be in a certain position to get on the throttle that hard and get on the brakes that late and still carry the corner speed. It is incredible how fast these bikes go with that much grip.

“The trick is programming yourself to go that fast without ending up in a big heap.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt