James Toseland’s Monster Yamaha Tech 3 boss Herve Poncharal believes the British rider can become a consistent top six challenger in MotoGP following his best finish of 2009 last weekend in Mugello.
Toseland finished seventh in an enthralling flag-to-flag 23-lap race, the 28-year-old only missing out on his first top six of the campaign when Tech 3 team-mate Colin Edwards passed him on the last lap.
Sunday’s result was easily Toseland’s best of a tough season, which has seen him slowly get his season back on track after two massive pre-season testing crashes.
And Poncharal believes his seventh in Mugello will hopefully prove a turning point for the double World Superbike champion.
"James has had a very difficult season so far but he’s never given up and always shown his determination to try and improve his results. It was great to see him back fighting higher up the field in Mugello and back where he belongs pushing for a top six. He showed great fighting spirit and that race will be a big confidence boost for him. We saw him he was capable of getting in the top six consistently last season and now I’m sure this result will be the boost that will help push him closer to doing that again now. He had a good race in Catalunya last year too so we go there confident that he can pushing for a top six." Poncharal also believes the best is yet to come from Toseland’s American team-mate Edwards.
The Texan, who has expressed interest in riding for Aprilia’s World Superbike team in 2010, has only finished outside of the top seven once in the opening five races.
"Colin has shown some fantastic speed so far this season and he’s performed a lot better than his results suggest. I’m convinced that he will be on the podium a few times before the end of the season, "added Poncharal.