Toseland shines on MotoGP debut as Tech 3 Yamaha start with double top ten James Toseland kicked off his MotoGP career in superb style tonight, the British rider claiming a well deserved top six finish in the historic first night race in ...
Toseland shines on MotoGP debut as Tech 3 Yamaha start with double top ten
James Toseland kicked off his MotoGP career in superb style tonight, the British rider claiming a well deserved top six finish in the historic first night race in Qatar.
Brimming with confidence after he secured a maiden front row grid position yesterday, the 27-year-old showed no signs of any first race nerves with a flying start. Third at the end of a hectic lap one, he then climbed into second on lap two with a daring overtake on Jorge Lorenzo.
Toseland briefly lost touch with the leading bunch, but showing great determination he clawed his way back into contention for the podium, setting the fifth fastest lap of the 22-lap race in the process. Riding at a fast and consistent pace throughout, Toseland kept the pressure on Valentino Rossi and Andrea Dovizioso right up until the last lap, and he only finished 0.7s behind Rossi at the finish.
Edwards was seventh after he too was involved in the thick of the frantic early action. The American, who had started next to Toseland on the front row, lost touch with the leading group shortly after the halfway stage, but his solid performance ensured Tech 3 Yamaha claimed fourth place in the coveted Team World Championship standings.
James Toseland 6th -- 10 points
"To start off with this result is just great for me. I've realised now that with everybody's support, which I'm getting from the Tech 3 team, Yamaha and Michelin, it is possible to be competitive. To finish just behind Valentino in my very first MotoGP race is surreal. The first couple of laps were pretty hectic and I put a move on Jorge that was quite close. That's just a lack of experience racing against these guys. I've raced against the same boys for seven years and know exactly what they do and when they do it. Jorge put his bike over my nose just as I was committed for the pass. I've just got to get used to how these guys take the corners so I can pass them a bit safer. But he left the door open a bit and I went for it. There was no harm done and after that I was trying everything I had to pass Andrea and Valentino. I was catching up fractions of time all lap and I'd just get with them at the last corner and they'd stretch away from me on the straight. There is nobody bad on the brakes so you can't catch it up really. You can chip away and chip away but the times I got close they were side-by-side and it was like a wall for me. And I wasn't prepared to take two of them out in my first MotoGP with sixth place in the bag
"I'm a bit emotionally drained to be fair but what you learn in 22 laps around these guys is priceless and I can't wait for Jerez."
Colin Edwards 7th -- 9 points
"I didn't leave anything out there tonight. If you paid me a million dollars I couldn't have gone any faster. I was riding my hardest but at the end of the day it just wasn't fast enough and to be honest I'm not sure why. We'll have to check the computer but I just didn't have the same feeling as I did yesterday. We had a great day yesterday and going into the race I was confident about getting on the podium. But from the second lap it became a race of adapting to cope with the different feeling I had from the tyres. I was at the back of the group and while they weren't really pulling away, I couldn't get any closer. I just didn't have the confidence to push and then I ran wide at the last corner while trying to keep close to the back of James. I lost a bit of time and I couldn't catch back up. Thanks to my guys for they're hard work and we'll try and move closer to the front in Jerez."
Herve Poncharal -- Team Manager
"It was a great way to start the championship. The highlight of the weekend was our two riders on the front row which was a very emotional moment and something you dream of to start the championship. It didn't happen to us since 2002 with Olivier Jacque and Shinya Nakano at the Sachsenring. We had great expectations but we knew it would be difficult to get on the rostrum. James showed an incredible fighting spirit and he made a made really aggressive move on Jorge. The whole race he was losing a bit in some parts and catching back to Valentino and he ended up very, very close to beating him. Colin had a great and steady race also and I'd have settled for sixth and seventh before the first race. We know the new engine is coming in Estoril and it won't be such a handicap in Jerez on a track without a long straight. Michelin showed great potential and we look forward with a lot of confidence to Jerez."