Toseland: I Might Return To MotoGP
After a couple of seasons in MotoGP, James Toseland – as we all know – is to return to World Superbikes. We’re sad to see him go, and will be sure to try and keep up generally with news on JT during next year, but as a precursor to it all, he has given an insightful and reflective interview to Crash.net Radio recently to talk about the various highs and lows of his MotoGP adventure, on looking forward to his return to SBK, on the alleged ‘fall-out’ with Colin Edwards, and much more.
Here are a few excerpts. The full interview can be found on Crash.net Radio…
“I was given the opportunity to move my career forwards and to challenge myself against the elite and the best in the world. As a kid growing up in this game, I felt very fortunate to get the opportunity to do that. The 17 or 18 riders out there are all world champions in their own right – in 125cc or 250cc or Superbike – and that’s the level it’s at. To enter into MotoGP, you’ve got to become a world champion at something.
“Everything was there to be had; Colin rode great on the same package, and that was what it was capable of. I didn’t perform to the level I should have, which risked my job, and with Ben Spies doing so well in Superbikes that was the case. There’s a reason behind it obviously, but I don’t think it’s a talent issue because in qualifying I nearly put it on pole position for my first GP (in 2008) and I had nine sixth places, which is no mean feat on a satellite bike in MotoGP.
“[The fall-out with Edwards] was just a load of rubbish that the media made up. The engineer that worked for him wanted to switch, and there were issues between him and Colin obviously because of that, but actually there was no issue between me and Colin whatsoever personally. Everybody made a fuss of it in the winter-time – when there’s no bike racing going round the tracks, the journalists have to fill the papers with something – but we sorted it out pretty quickly.
“Overall, it was a tough year and we had a few problems, but I really, really enjoyed the challenge. I was upset and disappointed [to lose the ride], because I felt like the challenge wasn’t over and I wanted another opportunity, but unfortunately circumstances were the way they were and you’ve got to move on to wherever it takes you. We certainly didn’t fail, but the inconsistency this year cost me being able to carry on at this point.
“The difference between how to ride in MotoGP and World Superbikes is quite dramatic. The R1 Superbike is a production bike, and obviously the MotoGP prototype is capable of doing a lot more around a circuit because it’s built for that. World Superbikes is a great showcase for the production-based bike [manufacturers] to show what they can build for the road, and also the manufacturers can show in MotoGP exactly what they can build with no rules.
“You never know what could happen in the future – I might return [to MotoGP] with some rule changes – but my new challenge is World Superbikes next year, and I’ll be concentrating on that. Going in with the package that obviously won the championship this year is a great prospect, and I’m looking forward to it.”
Source: Crash.net Radio