Qatar MotoGP: James Tosland ready for ‘massive year’

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British MotoGP rider James Toseland has admitted that 2009 is the biggest year of his career as he prepares for the season opening race in Qatar on Sunday night.

The double World Superbike champion is fit and raring to go in the Middle East after a nightmare winter testing campaign blighted by two huge high-side crashes.

Toseland was lucky to escape serious injury in a 125mph crash in early February in Sepang and his pre-season campaign ended in disaster with another spectacular high-speed crash in Jerez last month.

The 28-year-old though is confident he can put all his winter difficulties behind him under the Losail International Circuit’s floodlights this weekend.

Speaking exclusively to MCN, the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider said: “It is a massive year for me.

“It is the biggest year of my career because I either continue my MotoGP career or I might not. I know I can perform and I will. My life is all about working to succeed in motorcycle racing.

“I’ve got a bike, a package and a team that’s capable of being competitive so I know the job is down to me. I’m not looking for something that I’ve not had before.

“It is just going to take the best of me to do the job, but if I’m competitive I think I can still have a good five-year career in MotoGP.”

Toseland is aware of the need for a good start in Qatar this Sunday to quickly restore some lost confidence.

Last season, Toseland dazzled under the Qatar floodlights, claiming a debut front row start and a top six finish.

And he added: “I started off so well last year. Michelin really worked well in the winter and came out really strong and I got off to such a good start.

“This year it has been the opposite and I’m having to comeback this year. I’m not starting from a good position and having to climb back up the ladder. But I need to start around the top six and work up from there.

“The bike is worth challenging for podiums, so I have to be looking at that. I need to be consistently in the top six because that’s what the package is capable of. If that package is capable of the podium then you’ve got to put it there.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt