Indianapolis MotoGP: James Toseland rues set-up mistake

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James Toseland blamed a late set-up mistake for costing him the chance to record a second row grid position for tomorrow’s MotoGP debut at the famous Indianapolis circuit.

The Tech 3 Yamaha rider was as high as fifth on the timesheets with only five minutes remaining, but the 27-year-old slipped down to tenth having struggled to get the maximum performance out of his final Michelin qualifying tyre.

Toseland will start on the fourth row and he said: “It was a tough session and I’m disappointed not to be on the second row. We’d been working in a good direction with the bike for the qualifiers and on my penultimate tyre I must have gone over a second faster than the previous one.

"On the last one we tried another modification to the setting and unfortunately I lost all side grip. I had a bit of chatter at maximum lean angle, and that’s where you need to be pushing on the qualifying tyres. 

"It is a shame because I had been building up speed nicely and was confident of being on the second row. That one change at the end could have been the second row but it was the fourth and that is frustrating because we should have performed better.”

The double World Superbike champion confirmed riders have agreed to abandon tomorrow’s 28-lap race if there is a repeat of the treacherous conditions that hit the Indy circuit yesterday.

Concerns over water logged sections of the track means it will be too dangerous to race in and Toseland said: “I’ve heard the weather is going to be bad tomorrow so I think it will be a battle of survival. It totally depends on how much it rains. If it is like yesterday morning then we can race, but if it is like it was at the end of the second session then it will be impossible unfortunately.

"That would be a great shame because even in torrential rain, three-quarters of the track is great for grip.  On the old tarmac the water drains better than I’ve ever seen, but if it's raining that hard again you’ll struggle to see the first corner. We can’t ride through big puddles and sometimes it is a good two or three inches of water for about six metres and unfortunately we can’t ride in those conditions.

"Hopefully we won’t have to worry about that and we can do what we came here for and what we want to do, and that’s put on a good race for the American fans.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt