Toseland's First Crash in MotoGP -
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-19-2007, 09:05 PM Thread Starter
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Toseland's First Crash in MotoGP

Toseland's first crash on the M1: LINK

MotoGP Sepang test: James Toseland talks Yamaha MotoGP debut

By Matthew Birt
15 November 2007 12:24
James Toseland shrugged off an early crash on his Yamaha debut in Sepang today as the British rider had an eventful start to his MotoGP career.
The double World Superbike champion crashed on only his sixth lap on board the Tech 3 YZR-M1.

He lost the front at the first corner having clipped a white line on the inside, which was still damp and dirty following heavy overnight rain which had delayed his long-awaited first ride for over an hour this morning.
Nicky Hayden and John Hopkins also crashed at turn one today.

Using the same bike that Makoto Tamada finished the 2007 season on, only with Michelin tyres, James Toseland told MCN: That was a bit strange. With the rain the track was a bit dirty and it just caught me out. I just touched the white line on the inside.

Id got a pretty good line. But I went a little bit too tight and touched a white line and I think it might have been a bit damp. I was disappointed with that. It was only a slow corner so it was fine.

After that early setback, James Toseland only managed to complete another 23 laps as his debut was plagued by poor weather. Heavy rain in the afternoon left him a frustrated spectator, as he desperately wanted more track time to acclimatise to the YZR-M1.

He ended with a best time of 2.05.438 having been limited to just 29 laps, which was just under 2.5secs slower than fastest rider Randy de Puniet.
James Toseland described his first day as steady, admitting he faced a massive learning curve with almost every aspect for him completely new today.

The 27-year-old said: New track, new bike, new tyres, new suspension, its all very new. It was just steady away. But just as I was getting into a bit of a rhythm the rain came down so that was that really.

Im tired already trying to get used to everything and just thinking about everything I need to do. Especially the new track because this is a really technical place.

Its possibly the most difficult track Ive had to learn really. I went to do the Suzuka Eight-hour this year and even that place wasnt as hard as this.

James Toseland was given a helping hand on his first few laps out of the pits when new team-mate Colin Edwards slowed on his first run to let Toseland follow.

It helped him quickly gauge lines and braking markers required. He was behind the Texan when he suffered his low speed tumble at turn one and he added: The team is working really well and Colin keeps sitting down with me and telling us a few things about lines.

But hes here to test as well so he cant be just cruising around in front of me while I get used to the track. Its really good because these guys have got a GPS system on the computer where it shows the exact line that hes taking and Im taking and its like a camera shot of the track and it shows the two lines together.

Looking at that I know the different lines I need to be taking. Its a totally different world. Ive ridden a motorcycle for a long time but this is very different to what Im used to and I need to be out there but unfortunately the weather is not helping.

As well as trying to learn the technical Sepang circuit, James Toseland was also riding an 800cc MotoGP bike for the first time, and was using Michelin tyres, Ohlins suspension and carbon brakes, all which are completely new to the Sheffield rider.

The one thing I knew was going to a problem was the brand new track. Not only a brand new track, but also a difficult track to learn. Im not familiar with the bike as well and I was quite tired after four or five laps because I was thinking about so much.

I was thinking about the lines, about the bike and it was quite draining. Its
good for me to come to the tracks that I dont know rather than doing it in a race weekend.

The lap time that Ive done compared to the leaders the first time on a track like this is normal. Id watched the GP here a few weeks ago but you can never see the undulation, the blind corners and the bumps and thats really where experience comes.

Theres a couple of right-handers that tighten up at the end which are really technical to know youre corner speed before you actually turn into the last part.

I was getting to grips with it pretty well and when I went out on a new set of tyres I went a second quicker straightaway and was starting to get used to how the bike felt when it rained.

Asked what his first impression of the Yamaha 800cc machine he said: The bike is great at the moment. I was just getting down to a lap time where you need to be pushing slightly to do that, but I was still two seconds off the other guys and until I get to that time I dont know exactly what the bike does. But for my pace everything is working pretty well.

Asked if he thought it was true the belief that riders graduating from the 250 class will be in a better position than riders switching from World Superbikes, the former Hannspree Ten Kate Honda rider said: The weight of the bike is the biggest thing for me.

The stopping distances are unbelievable. Im literally scaring myself really to actually brake that late to what Im used to and you are still comfortable.

Its actually just programming youre mind to find the limits of what the braking, acceleration and turning is capable of. The bike is quite light and for the first couple of laps I was really aggressive trying to change direction and you dont need half that kind of force. All in all it was finding out what the bike was capable of.

James Toseland said he doesnt anticipate having to make drastic changes to his riding style to suit the 800 MotoGP machines.

Not too drastic. Just learning the limits of what the bike can do with less
weight and carbon brakes. The capabilities of the braking are a lot more than what Im used to.

I was just starting to enjoy riding the bike a bit because the first few laps it was so alien. Everything was so alien, you name it and everything was different.

One day I will jump on this Yamaha quite soon and it will feel like my bike. Not like Ive borrowed somebody elses and that how it feels at the moment. Its just familiarity of how the bike completely works.

The time will come when I can concentrate on going fast, instead of concentrating on wondering where I can brake and wonder how much I can accelerate or where should I turn in?

Ive just done a morning and Im quite tired just because Ive been thinking about absolutely everything. At the moment Im thinking about too many things because Im not sure whats going to happen at that point, said James Toseland, who said he had no trouble sleeping the night before, despite the obvious excitement of making his MotoGP debut.

He added: Sleeping wasnt too bad because I had a bit of jet lag but I have been really excited about it for weeks before coming here. The team, Colin and Yamaha have all welcomed me into the family really, really well and they are going to give me everything they can to bridge this gap of a learning curve.

This is what will really be helpful for me because Ive got a lot to learn, and not much time to learn it. But with the people and the team they can reduce it a lot.

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-19-2007, 09:20 PM
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Thanks for the article sooper,
here's the video to go along with it:
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-20-2007, 06:48 PM
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Toseland is going to have a hard time in MotoGP.

Mark my words. He's a great Superbike rider, but not MotoGP caliber.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-29-2007, 12:22 AM
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that m1 sounds insane!!!
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-02-2007, 03:03 PM
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great article thanks man.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-02-2007, 05:03 PM
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From what I've read Toseland is making good progress adapting to the M1 - think at the Jerez test he was 8th fastest on race tyres. Faster than riders like Melandri (OK, new bike for him to adapt to) and Randy De Puniet (no excuses for him)

I agree he will find it hard but everything he's done so far on and off track shows he's doing the right things to adapt and develop himself as a rider in MotoGP.

There's an interview here with Herve Poncheral going through the progress he's made so far, from a Team Manager's perspective.

Just ignore the muppet question from the interviewer about Superbike riders who didn't do well in MotoGP.

Last edited by troy45; 12-02-2007 at 05:12 PM.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-02-2007, 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by 418NV View Post
Toseland is going to have a hard time in MotoGP.

Mark my words. He's a great Superbike rider, but not MotoGP caliber.
I agree and disagree.

Toseland is going to have a hard time in GP, but not because of a lack of talent, but more so his machinery.
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