TOSELAND (DUCATI XEROX TEAM) SHOWS GREAT FORM WITH DOUBLE PODIUM FINISH AT ASSEN Assen (Netherlands), Sunday 4 September: James Toseland produced some aggressive racing on the Xerox-backed factory Ducati 999 to take two podiums in front of a ...
TOSELAND (DUCATI XEROX TEAM) SHOWS GREAT FORM WITH DOUBLE PODIUM FINISH AT ASSEN
Assen (Netherlands), Sunday 4 September: James Toseland produced some aggressive racing on the Xerox-backed factory Ducati 999 to take two podiums in front of a massive 80,000 crowd at Assen as Chris Vermeulen (Honda) scored maximum points with the two wins.
Right on the pace from the start of the weekend, 24-year-old Toseland held the flag high for the factory Ducati Xerox Team after team-mate Regis Laconi was forced to miss this weekend's ninth round of the championship due to his high-side on Friday.
Starting from second on the grid, the reigning world champion was involved in a thrilling five-rider battle in the early stages of the first race. Toseland then fought for the runner-up slot with Haga (Yamaha), eventually getting the better of his Japanese rival in the final couple of laps.
"That was hard work, it was a great battle and I'm sure it was exciting to watch" Toseland said. "I always enjoy racing with Nori, we did the same here last year. I knew I could do a good race after Friday and Saturday and I'm just happy to be back on the podium after the disappointment of the last few weeks".
Another fantastic battle in race 2 involving Vermeulen, Haga and Toseland could have gone any way until the final few laps when the first two broke away and Toseland settled for the final podium slot. But Toseland's early race performance was astonishing as he powered past Kagayama (Suzuki), Pitt (Yamaha) and Haga at the same place, the final chicane, on successive laps to move into the lead.
"I've just ridden one of the best races I've ever ridden to finish third but fair play to Chris and Nori, they didn't put a foot wrong. I know that because I didn't make a mistake either!" commented Toseland. "I was pushing right to the end, losing the front, losing the rear, skipping about but I'm happy and that's the first time I've been happy with third for a while because I know I rode hard and stuck my neck out. I'm just happy to have two podiums, which I'd like to dedicate to my manager and close friend Roger Burnett and to the family of young rider Chris Jones, who tragically got killed at Cadwell Park recently".