Italian MotoGP: James Toseland satisfied with third row start

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British rider James Toseland declared himself satisfied with eighth place on the grid for tomorrow’s Mugello GP.

This afternoon’s session was the first full dry hour of the weekend after a weather-hit weekend and the Tech 3 Yamaha rider found himself as high as second place with just over 20 minutes remaining when he clocked a 1.49.401.

He eventually finished eighth with a fastest time of 1.49.025 and he said: "To finish less than a second off pole when you consider all the time we have lost due to the weather is a great result for me.

"I’m relieved to be honest because when it started dry this morning, the dry set-up we had was quite a long way off. It was really hard to ride with that setting and we have changed the bike a lot and gone to a set-up close to what Colin is running. The bike feels a bit more stable now. I think for a tighter track the set-up I had wasn’t going to be too bad.

"But on a fast and flowing track like this it was a little bit nervous so we just changed the front a bit. Now we haven’t got a bad set-up, but I have only had 10 laps on a decent set-up. With the set-up and lack of knowledge of the track, to be a less than a second is not bad.

"Fair play to my team because we did a lot of work and fortunately for me the new set-up is a good direction to go in. This afternoon I only really had 30 minutes to work on the race set-up because you spend 30 minutes on the qualifiers.

"I made some mistakes because on all these new tracks, with the qualifiers you need to be so precise and I haven’t quite mastered exactly where you need to be on the track with them. I’m still not getting the best out of the qualifiers.

"It is such a long lap and I kept coming out of a couple of corners going slightly wide and then you can forget about the lap time because a small mistake costs you corner speed at the next turn.

"I just suffer a bit of a lack of track knowledge but the bike and the tyres are working great. I just need to get a good start because the slipstream here can really help you get a good result.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt