Toseland labels Laguna Seca black flag ‘pretty harsh’

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider disappointed in penalty decision.

Disqualified from the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix, James Toseland was understandably disappointed with events stateside this past weekend. The Briton had been adjudged to have jumped the start of the race at Laguna Seca and, despite the frantic efforts of his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew on the pit wall to alert him of the need for a ride-through, was not aware of the penalisation until a black flag was ready to be waved.

To add a tragicomic twist to the proceedings, Toseland’s belated entry into the pits meant that he also missed the first showing of the black flag. He maintained that his premature take-off was marginal at worst, and explained why he wasn’t on the lookout for his pitboard early on.

“I feel like the jump start was pretty harsh. I knew it was close but I didn't think I'd jumped the start and that early in a 32-lap race I'm not looking at my pitboard,” said the Yamaha satellite rider, fighting for his place in MotoGP for 2010. “I was just concentrating on catching the guy in front and the first thing I realised that I'd been penalised was when I saw the black flag and my number.

“Obviously if I'd known I'd jumped the start then I would have come in but I've watched the TV replay and you can't see anything. I didn't gain any places either so in my opinion it's pretty harsh. It's a setback but I've just got to get on with it and bounce back in Germany.”

Toseland had a tough weekend overall, as even prior to his disqualification. A crash in qualifying and a wrong direction for his setup on the second bike left him qualifying a lowly fifteenth for the stateside showdown.

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