James Toseland Moto GP Career

James Toseland 

James Toseland Journey to MotoGP

James Michael Toseland (born 5 October 1980 in Doncaster, South Yorkshire is an English motorcycle racer. Toseland was the 2007 World Superbike Champion on a Ten Kate Honda, who also won the 2004 Superbike World Championship on a Ducati. Toseland is currently competing in the World Superbike Championship for the Sterilgarda Yamaha team, but has been dropped for next year as Marco Melandri and Eugene Laverty join the team. He is one of only two men, the other being Troy Corser, to have won the Superbike World Championship for two different manufacturers.

James Toseland

As well as being a motorcyclist, Toseland is also a pianist (reaching Grade 6) and singer who performs regularly with his band "Crash" when not at home in the Isle of Man, Toseland performed alongside Ray Stubbs for BBC's Sport Relief, as well as playing a piano set at the British sports personality of the year awards 2007.

Toseland was again linked with the Pramac d'Antin MotoGP team, although rumours had also abounded of a ride with a Honda outfit, and even of Ten Kate Racing making the step up to the premier class and taking Toseland with them. But eventually Toseland confirmed a move to MotoGP for 2008 on 1 August 2007 when he announced that he had signed a one-year contract with factory supported Yamaha team Tech 3. For 2008 Tech 3 switched from Dunlop to Michelin tyres it was also confirmed that Toseland's teammate would be Colin Edwards. Toseland signed a deal with British leather company BKS to supply him with suits whilst competing in the 2008 MotoGP world championship. James & BKS have now parted company after only 3 races in 2011 after very poor results. James has now signed with "Sypke" leathers.

Facing eight unknown tracks, Toseland had reason to expect a tough season , but he was immediately more competitive than expected. He qualified in second place and finished sixth in the opening race in Qatar on 9 March 2008.

He then qualified in 8th place and finished sixth in Jerez on 30 March despite suffering from bronchitis.

Toseland shrugged off criticism from fellow MotoGP riders about his aggressive riding style. Chris Vermeulen, Andrea Dovizioso and Casey Stoner were all vocal in their displeasure of Toseland's aggressive overtaking moves. James downplayed the talk and stated that his moves were "hard but fair", and that it was his job to overtake his rivals when he had the chance to do so.

Before the British MotoGP round at Donington Park, Toseland said that if he were the first Briton to win in 27 years at the top level that he would strip naked on the ride back to the pits. However, he crashed in the first corner of the race, but picked his bike up to finish in 17th place, his worst finish of the season to that point, over a lap behind the winner Casey Stoner.

Toseland struggled through the middle part of the season for top 10 finishes, achieving two 9th places (Holland and the United States). One of James's better showings was at Brno where he finished 13th, ahead of his team mate Colin Edwards. Amidst Bridgestone dominance he was the third-highest finisher on Michelin tires, the first being Andrea Dovizioso placed in 9th. At Phillip Island he ran 3rd for a while but ultimately faded to 6th after frantic battles with the works Yamahas of Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo, plus Dovizioso and Shinya Nakano.

Overall Toseland had a very mixed first year in the Moto GP class, finishing 11th overall in the championship with 105 points. Inconsistency was one of the main problems, with Toseland unable to record regular top 10 results despite having only 2 DNF's.

It was confirmed that Toseland would stay on for 2009 with the Tech 3 Yamaha team, racing alongside Colin Edwards as he did in 2008, after the team extended Toseland's initial contract after two races of the 2008 season. Yamaha have also decided to continue their relationship with the Tech 3 brand through to 2010.

In pre-season testing Toseland suffered two major accidents, one of them resulting in him being diagnosed with a concussion. The start of the season was difficult for Toseland as he could not find a bike setup that was comfortable. In 2008 Toseland had been unhappy with the communication with his engineer and his complaints led to a switch of crew chief with team-mate Colin Edwards. Edwards resented this change and refused to speak with Toseland for the early rounds of the season. Despite the change in crew chief Toseland only finished ahead of Edwards in two races for the year. Toseland also received jump-start penalties at the Laguna Seca and Phillip Island rounds, the former resulting in a disqualification.

On 1 October 2009, Yamaha officially confirmed that Spies will join Yamaha Tech 3 to ride in the 2010 MotoGP Championship, taking Toseland's place in the team. It was announced before the Portuguese GP that Toseland would return to the Superbike World Championship.


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