British rider James Toseland was in upbeat mood at the Sachsenring this afternoon despite finishing a weather-hit opening practice session down in 14th place.
Toseland’s best lap of 1.24.317 was only 1.538s off Casey Stoner’s best in another closely contested session that started on a wet track that ended dry. Toseland’s lowly finish was largely down to the fact that he stayed on Bridgestone’s rain tyre while the track dried rapidly.
Rain is forecast for the remainder of the German GP weekend and previous flag-to-flag races in Le Mans and Mugello have started on a wet track but finished in the dry.
Toseland said: “It wasn’t a bad session even though I’m down the timesheets because we’ve gathered a lot of information in the wet and dry. It was important to do a few laps in the wet and we found we didn’t have a great setting.
"So that was good to discover because it looks like there’s a big chance of rain for the rest of the weekend. I spent a bit too much time on the wet tyres basically, even when it was drying up while the other guys were already out on slicks.
"I wanted to check on the wet tyres and get a feel for them just in case it does dry up for the race like it did in Le Mans and Mugello. By the time I put the slicks on and made a few changes to my set-up it was a little bit too late to get close to the speed of the others but I’m sure I could have got in the 1.23s.”
Toseland’s gamble to stay out on wet tyres as the tight and twisty track dried out quickly nearly backfired when he nearly high-sided out.
“In the damp conditions I had a big moment too and really hit my right leg hard. I was out of the seat at Turn Eight and I smacked my foot on the rear brake lever so hard that it was all bent.
"It was painful but luckily it caught me on the protective part of my boot, otherwise I could have done myself some damage, “ said Toseland, who got his first chance to assess a new anti-wheelie system from Yamaha for the first time today.
He added: “We had some new electronics from Yamaha and it is a big step. I’ve got to say a big thanks to Yamaha for helping me out. These bikes have got so much horsepower that with a bit more control under acceleration, it’s amazing how much easier it feels.
It has really helped me coming out of the corner and I can control the bike much better.” Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team-mate Colin Edwards was also raving about the new anti-wheelie system, the Texan ending the session is a promising sixth place. He logged a best time of 1.23.295 and said:
“I tried some new electronics today and they are fantastic. It used to be so much effort to manage the bike under acceleration, but now it is incredible. I want to say a massive thanks to Yamaha because what they have put on my bike is like gold dust.
It’s a lot less effort to control the bike when I’m accelerating and it is giving me some crucial tenths.”
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