James Toseland eager to begin Qatar test

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Tech 3 Yamaha rider James Toseland can’t wait to get back on track on Sunday night as preparations for the new MotoGP season continue in Qatar.

Sunday’s opening night will be the first time Toseland has been on track on the new 2009 YZR-M1 since his winter preparations suffered a nightmare start in Malaysia earlier this month.

The double World Superbike champion had a torrid time in the Far East after he suffered a massive 125mph high-side on the first day.

The former factory Ducati WSB rider is now fully recovered from right arm injuries he suffered in the huge spill and looking forward to a positive test under the Losail International Circuit’s floodlights.

Toseland has fond memories of the Qatar circuit after his stunning MotoGP debut in the Middle East nearly a year ago.

He claimed a front row grid position on his debut and then scored a brilliant top six in the race, finishing just behind Fiat Yamaha rider and eight-time world champion Valentino Rossi.

“Sepang wasn’t a great start but I’m really looking forward to going to Qatar. It is a track I know really well and obviously last year I had a great time there, “Toseland told MCN.

“In many respects it is good to be going to Qatar next because I know it is a track that I have a good record at and getting up to speed quickly shouldn’t take too long.

"I’m not worried about my confidence at all. I think if you let a crash like I had get to you too much then you shouldn’t really be riding.

"It did shake me up and I was fortunate but I’m just looking forward to getting back on the bike, doing a lot of laps and having a good test to get some momentum going ahead of the first race.”

Although his own fortunes plummeted in Sepang, Toseland said he was boosted by the performance of American team-mate Colin Edwards, who finished fourth quickest in the three-day Sepang test.

“Colin had a very good test and Valentino (Rossi) was second quickest too and not far behind Casey (Stoner), so it shows the Yamaha is working immediately.

"That was a big boost because Colin is on the same bike as me and he’s obviously my first benchmark.

"It is clear that Yamaha is working strongly again to stay on top. The bike is capable of it, so I’ve got to make sure I’m up for it this weekend.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt