Yamaha Tech 3 Jerez IRTA test notes 2008-02-18

Strong finish for James Toseland at a blustery Jerez Tech 3 Yamaha rider James Toseland concluded a successful three-day test session at the Jerez circuit today by posting the sixth fastest time in dry but blustery conditions. As well as ...

Strong finish for James Toseland at a blustery Jerez

Tech 3 Yamaha rider James Toseland concluded a successful three-day test session at the Jerez circuit today by posting the sixth fastest time in dry but blustery conditions. As well as displaying a fast and consistent pace again today, the British rider showed his resilient side as he bounced back from a crash at the first corner on only his second lap to put in crucial development laps on a range of Michelin rear race and qualifying tyres. The 27-year-old braved the pain of a badly twisted right ankle to post a best lap on a qualifying tyre of 1.39.727 in a 36-lap stint this afternoon. That was faster than reigning world champion Casey Stoner by 0.118s and only 0.179s behind fellow Yamaha YZR-M1 rider Valentino Rossi.

A best time of 1.39.678 on the opening day ensured Toseland secured seventh place overall at the weather hit three-day IRTA test. He also claimed the sixth best time on race tyres at the end of only his fifth MotoGP appearance. With weather forecasts predicting rain and strong winds for the final day, Tech 3, Yamaha and Michelin management agreed for Colin Edwards to fly back to America a day early.

Edwards had two productive days of testing in wet and dry conditions, and was given an extra day's rest in preparation for the vital final winter test in Qatar on February 28-29.

James Toseland - Position: 6th Time: 1.39.727 Laps: 36

"It was a bit of a freak accident and nothing I could have done about it. It all happened very fast but luckily I only twisted my ankle when I got caught up with the bike. It was on my first lap out of the pits and I just got caught out. Whether it was the track conditions or not, I was just tipping in and the rear end came round. I wanted to get back out there and it was nice to get to those times again. I didn't want to leave on a bad note. It was nice that even with a few problems like my ankle that I can still end up in the top six. I'd been in the top five in the wet and dry and to finish off in 14th I'd have been a bit deflated. But even with my ankle it was good to still be doing some competitive times. What's nice is I feel progress at every test I have done. I have been consistently quick here and in the dry and the wet which was encouraging, especially in the wet. If I carry on working in this direction hopefully we can raise a few eyebrows. Everybody has been pretty encouraged and I think this is a great team and my guys are why I have been able to progress so quickly. It is down to their experience. I'll rest my ankle for a couple of days now and be ready for Qatar, which I'm looking forward to as it is another track I know well."

Herve Poncharal -- Team Manager

"This has been a very productive test. For most of the first day James was second on race tyres behind Valentino and Colin was able to do some competitive lap times too. We made a big improvement compared to the November test, especially with James who is continuing to show big progress. Yamaha and Michelin have been working very hard in the winter and we can see the result of their efforts with James and Colin very close to the top guys. We also got to test in full wet conditions and Colin confirmed that the new Michelin rain tyres are a big plus. We know how important it is to have a tyre that reacts quickly and is easy to adapt from a slick tyre. Last year we had two flag-to-flag races and we saw in Japan that some riders struggled a few laps out of the pits with the rain tyres. Michelin have been working in this area and we are very happy. The weather wasn't too good on the last day and although James had a minor incident on his first lap out of the pits, he showed his dedication and willingness to learn by doing a lot of tyre testing this afternoon. It was very important and I would like to thank him for that because his ankle is a bit sore. I was a little bit scared when I saw him in the gravel and in the ambulance because the championship starts very soon but he showed his determination. As for Colin, Yamaha, Michelin and the team decided it wasn't worth taking some risks knowing the conditions were not going to be perfect. He didn't have much to test, so we sent him home to recharge his batteries and be ready for Qatar."

-credit: yamaha-racing.com

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Series MotoGP
Drivers Valentino Rossi , Colin Edwards , James Toseland , Casey Stoner , Herve Poncharal