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Early pit entry only choice for Toseland

Early pit entry only choice for Toseland

Decision to run hard rear shock provoked Briton to come in first to change bikes.

In a flag-to-flag race, the early laps can become a waiting game for the MotoGP riders. The decision to come in and change bikes is often based on lap times, but also a question of ‘who flinches first.’

Switching machines early didn’t pay off for Valentino Rossi at Le Mans, but gave considerable success to James Toseland this past Sunday. The Briton was the trailblazer in the Mugello pit-stops, coming in after just four laps on wet tyres, but explained afterwards that it was less a case of risk-taking and more an act of necessity.

“I started the race with quite a hard spring in the rear shock and in the first few laps I was in trouble,” said the Briton, who earned his best result of the year with a seventh place finish. “I hadn't planned on coming into the pits so early for my dry bike but I had no choice. I was losing a lot of time so it was definitely a gamble worth taking.”

The early arrival meant that there were some tricky moments on track for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider, as the asphalt was still not completely dry and he was running cold rubber. Add to that the fact that there were sixteen other competitors looking to finish ahead of Toseland, and things got still more complicated.

“The section of track with the new tarmac was a bit scary because that never dried through the whole race, but you could ride the rest of the track pretty much flat-out and coming in when I did definitely helped gain me a lot of places once I'd picked up my pace,” he said. “I had a really good dice with Randy de Puniet and there were a few good overtakes. It's the first race I've enjoyed for a while because for most of it I was fighting for the top six. That's where I was a few times last season and that's where this bike and team deserve to be.”

Team Manager Hervé Poncharal gave his approval of his charge’s result, stating that “I'm really pleased with today's result and I want to give special congratulations to James. He has had a very difficult year so far but he's never given up and I'm pleased to see him back where he belongs.”

MotoGP, 2009, GRAN PREMIO D'ITALIA ALICE, James Toseland, Monster Yamaha Tech 3

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