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Home riders set to give the `Best of British´ at Donington Park

Home riders set to give the `Best of British´ at Donington Park

James Toseland heads the list of home participants for this weekend´s British Grand Prix.

`Brits abroad´ for every other round of the MotoGP World Championship, the four regular British participants in the three cylinder categories head home for this week´s visit to Donington Park.

At the venue famous for its musical events as much as its racing action, MotoGP star James Toseland is the undeniable headline act of the World Championship five-piece of himself, 250cc rider Eugene Laverty and the 125cc class´ Bradley Smith, Scott Redding and Danny Webb. The Tech3 Yamaha rider is upholding British honour in the premier class at Donington Park for the first time, and June 22nd has been a day long marked with a cross on the Toseland calendar.

`This is the weekend I've been so looking forward to all season. My one and only race in Britain this year and my first appearance on a MotoGP bike in front of those home fans,´ says the eager 27 year-old.

`I can´t wait to get to Donington. I know the track well, I won there last year on a Superbike and I´ll be pushing really hard for a podium place.´

For British fans, hopes of a first home winner at the track rest with the MotoGP rookie, with the expectation of a repeat of Jeremy McWilliams´ 2000 rostrum finish being built up by aficionados long-starved of success.

McWilliams successor in Northern Irish representation, Eugene Laverty also has podium `previous´ at the track, albeit in British Supersport competition. Last year an unfortunate crash in the wet ended Laverty´s hopes of a strong home finish, but this year he has more competitive Aprilia machinery and an ever-present optimism that could conspire to give the Ulsterman a more than respectable return.

Bradley Smith is the favourite of the lower cylinder class foursome to finish on the rostrum, having placed on the podium twice so far in 2008. Three pole positions show that Smith can ride with the best of them in the 125cc class, but all-too-frequent crashes and mechanical problems have left their mark on his title challenge. The most recent tumble by the teenager left him sore in Barcelona, but he has allayed fears that he will be at less than peak fitness this weekend.

`I´m working very hard to get 100 per cent fit after my qualifying crash in Barcelona. My left ankle and leg are still very sore but I will be fit by practice on Friday. It´s a very special race for all British riders,´ states the Polaris World rider.

Rounding off the 125cc local boys are Danny Webb and Scott Redding, riding for the DeGraaf Grand Prix and Blusens Aprilia teams, respectively. However, whilst Webb is a Donington veteran, Redding will be making his first full appearance at the track where he has only competed on the incorporated 80cc layout.

MotoGP, 2008, BRITISH GRAND PRIX, Bradley Smith, James Toseland, Scott Redding, Danny Webb

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