Motegi MotoGP Reaction: James Toseland battles to hard fought 11th
British rider James Toseland claimed a hard fought 11th place in Japan today after a titanic battle with John Hopkins.
The Tech 3 Yamaha rider had held off the American for 15 laps in a nail-biting tussle before Hopkins managed to make a decisive move on the last lap.
Toseland said: ““I gave it my all on every lap and I stayed consistent without making any mistakes.
"But with that lack of dry track time on Friday it cost me because I was only a couple of tenths slower than fifth position and that time you can find on a dry day with the set-up. But the guys in front were so consistent that I couldn’t really get close. One slight problem like a wet day makes it really difficult to get right on the pace. I was with Colin and Shinya early on but I’d been playing with the rear shock all weekend to try and get some grip at full lean angle.
"It was the best it has been but I was still losing a lot of time on the exit and they were just pulling me away a bit. And because it is so stop and start here, if you can exit the corners better it gives you a good advantage and you can pull a couple of tenths a lap. I really wanted tenth but John came underneath me at turn one on the last lap and I tried to pass him back in the second part of it down the straight.
"But he came back on my side and he put my clutch on. It slipped my clutch and he was just able to get a bit of an advantage. I tried to get him back but he didn’t put a foot wrong for the rest of the lap. It’s disappointing to have worked so hard to keep that place and lose it at the end. At least now I can look ahead to three races where I know the track, so hopefully we can end the season on a high.”