Jerez MotoGP: James Toseland promises plenty more

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British rider James Toseland reckons he’s not shown anywhere near his full potential on the opening day of practice for Sunday’s Spanish MotoGP clash in Jerez.

The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider was 11th on the timesheets after the first 45-minute practice session today, a harder front fork setting not bringing the expected improvement in handling the double World Superbike champion had hoped for.

But after clocking a best time of 1.41.461 that left him only 0.4s off a top eight placing, the 28-year-old told MCN: “In the dry session in Japan we made a good step with the front end of the bike to help with the hard braking points.

“We thought we’d go a step further here because there are a lot of hard braking points too, but we went too hard with the front fork and I never really had a good feeling.

“We also changed the rear setting too but the bike didn’t feel balanced and we had some weight distribution issues. The problem is with the shorter sessions now we didn’t have any time to change the bike. But I know my potential is much higher”

Toseland, who suffered a massive high-side crash on his last visit to the Jerez circuit in winter testing, added that finding a suspension set-up for rear tyre endurance would be more critical than ever.

Track temperatures peaked at 45 degrees this afternoon and Toseland had some grip issues with the harder compound Bridgestone rear tyre.

“Finding that setting to conserve the rear tyre for as long as possible will be vital. I used the hard compound tyre this afternoon and I’ve got to say that it was spinning after about eight laps.

“The race is 27 laps so tyre wear is going to be critical. I was behind a few guys today and could say there having the same trouble, so whoever can get that good race setting to make the tyre last as long as possible will be in a really strong position.

“I’m not too displeased with my time though and there’s plenty of room for improvement,“ said Toseland, who scored a brilliant top six finish in last year’s Spanish MotoGP clash.

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt