Indianapolis MotoGP Reaction: James Toseland slumps to 18th

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British rider James Toseland had a nightmare Indianapolis GP today as he dropped from eighth to 18th in appalling conditions.

The British rider made a promising start from the fourth row of the grid and held eighth place for the opening five laps.

But as the track started to dry after torrential early rain that delayed the 250cc race, Toseland began to slip down the field with severe grip issues from his Michelin rear rain tyre.

He said:  “I didn’t get off the line very well but I was a bit aggressive into the first turn and went round the outside and passed a few people. I felt pretty good but when it wasn’t raining and the track started to dry out, my lap times just stayed the same.

"And as it dried out everybody else got quicker and I couldn’t go any faster. It was spinning and obviously I was a bit too soft with the rear setting. I had the same tyre as Andrea Dovizioso, so it was obviously the setting.

"I know I was running a softer setting than Colin and Jorge. When it was quite wet at the start it was obviously pretty good, but as it dried out it was just spinning. When it rained again I found a bit of pace again and could so similar times to the people in front, but by that time I’d lost a lot of places.”

The double World Superbike champion said it was the right decision for the race to be red flagged with eight laps remaining as Indianapolis found itself in the eye of a huge storm.

With driving rain and fierce winds seeing debris flying across the track, the race was halted and a planned eight-lap restart was also abandoned.

Toseland added: “At the end the wind was unbelievable. And the problem was it wasn’t always in the same direction. It was totally unpredictable and it was gusting to the point where you had to anticipate something happening. They ran it for as long as they could but it was getting a bit hairy out there.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt