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Toseland aiming to learn quickly on MotoGP arrival

Toseland aiming to learn quickly on MotoGP arrival

Talented 27 year-old Englishman James Toseland comes into MotoGP for the 2008 campaign with Yamaha Tech3, tagged as Britain's great hope in the sport, after the first season in World Championship history with not a single point scored in the premier class by a British rider in 2007.

Talented 27 year-old Englishman James Toseland comes into MotoGP for the 2008 campaign with Yamaha Tech3, tagged as Britain's great hope in the sport, after the first season in World Championship history with not a single point scored in the premier class by a British rider in 2007.

Due to his undoubted pedigree and his great potential marketing appeal, Toseland has been touted for MotoGP rides before, but sponsorship incompatibility and personal doubts about the strengths of the packages on offer previously have prevented the move from taking place until now.

There is understandably therefore a buzz of excitement building about his 2008 MotoGP Rookie campaign with race-mad British fans yearning for a return to the glory days of the likes of MotoGP Legends Geoff Duke, John Surtees, Mike Hailwood, Phil Read and the iconic Barry Sheene.

A case of great expectations perhaps, but Toseland is a rider of proven ability and commences his Grand Prix career with a competitive race package at his disposal. The Tech3 team receive direct factory support from Yamaha, with a new M1 800cc prototype to be delivered early in 2008, while the team's tyre suppliers Michelin will be pushing hard for good results after some disappointments in 2007.

Few would bet on Toseland to win the premier class title in his first season but regular podium finishes are a possibility if he can learn the MotoGP tracks quickly and follow the lines of the more experienced riders around him.

He shares a pit-box with former colleague Colin Edwards – the pair were also team-mates a decade ago in Toseland's World Supersport days whilst Edwards was in the World Superbikes series – and they immediately hit it off again with the American lending advice as his British friend made a solid start to MotoGP riding in winter tests at Sepang and Jerez in November.

Meanwhile, proud Yorkshireman Toseland has a strong support network behind him in the shape of personal manager Roger Burnett and Tech3 boss Herve Poncharal (incidently an old contact of Burnett's). In addition Yamaha Motor Racing managing director Lin Jarvis happens to be an Englishman too and is sure to be fully aware of of Toseland's progress and specific needs.

Toseland's background is naturally more likely to be familiar to British race fans who witnessed him progress through the UK 125cc domestic scene in his formative years, before competing in the British Supersport series, the European Championship and World Supersport.

After returning home to ride in the British Superbike Championship in 2000 the Sheffield-born rider has since made his name in World Superbikes and arrives in MotoGP having recently won the World title for the second time.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, James Toseland

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