James Toseland dazzles at historic Qatar night test Tech 3 Yamaha rider James Toseland produced a dazzling performance under the spectacular Losail International Circuit's floodlights to post the fifth fastest time on a historic night for the ...
James Toseland dazzles at historic Qatar night test
Tech 3 Yamaha rider James Toseland produced a dazzling performance under the spectacular Losail International Circuit's floodlights to post the fifth fastest time on a historic night for the MotoGP world championship.
The British rider was in sparkling form at the first official MotoGP test to be held under floodlights, with the twoday session a dress rehearsal for the season's opening race to be held in Qatar on March 9.
Toseland and Texan Colin Edwards quickly adapted to the unusual conditions, with both immediately producing competitive lap times. Toseland was second fastest until the final hour and Edwards, who had been in the top five for a large part of the first night, eventually finished 10th quickest.
The Tech 3 duo carried out full 22-lap race simulations, gathering vital data in preparation for the first race. Toseland and Edwards assessed the performance of new Michelin front and rear tyres that were designed specifically to handle the unusually low track temperatures. Track temperature peaked at 22 degrees when the circuit opened at 6pm, but dropped to a low of just 15 degrees by the end at 1am. Both riders were happy with progress, while Toseland also evaluated a new YZR-M1 chassis for the first time.
James Toseland 5th 1.56.251 -- 90 laps
"To end up fifth fastest on my first time here on the bike is really good. It was a good night, which sounds a bit strange saying that. They have done a fantastic job with the lights. I was here in November when just three corners were lit and to do what they have done is a great effort. You have to focus a bit more than normal and the only real problem was with the humidity. It made it a bit hazy later on and I had to wear a rain mask for my race simulation because I was getting some moisture on my visor. It is better to find that out now than halfway through the race. I'm really happy with the consistency of my race run. The front tyre I found worked really well, which is a massive plus because there is no harder place on a front tyre than this track. The braking stability with the new chassis is much better and it finishes the faster corners better. Those two factors at this circuit are key so I'm really pleased with that. The most pleasing aspect of the race run though was my consistency. It is so important to learn what the bike does later in a race and that experience is coming. I'm just getting more experienced with the bike when the grip goes down, and to be in a range of 0.8s through my whole race run shows I'm making progress."
Colin Edwards 10th 1.56.762 -- 86 laps
"As far as safety goes with the lights everything is fine. There is a little problem with shadows but once you know where they are it is fine and no major distraction. You forget how much you rely on peripheral vision. In the day you know exactly what inch of track you are on and don't even think about it. But at night you think about it a bit more. At night I'm actually looking at the kerb as a reference where normally you don't. It's just a different mode you have to switch into. Once race mode kicks in you forget everything so I've got no worries about the lights and it didn't hurt the lap times. Michelin have done a good job and I didn't touch the bike. Michelin have obviously been working on getting heat into the tyres quicker and they have made an improvement. I didn't have any tyre issues at all and my bike is running exactly the same setting as Sepang and Jerez. I've got a setting now that's so good for my style that if we keep that going it will be awesome."