Q & A with James Toseland

Q. How much of a boost does the home support give you when you race in Britain?

Q & A with James Toseland

James Toseland: I've always tried really hard with the supporters and the fans that I have personally. Over the years I've always tried 100 per cent and it took a long time to get that kind of respect from the general public. But even through the tough times I've had this year and the inconsistency, the support has been amazing. There are critics, there always are, but the majority are behind me willing me on and that's really humbling. For me to repay them with a good result this weekend is what I want.

Q. How tough has this season been, given the high expectations you had after 2008?

JT: I started off really well with the six sixth places last year, which was great for a rookie season. This season unfortunately I crashed my brains out in the winter time and lost all the testing time. With the new rules with the tyres and everything else, this was the winter that you needed to be on the bike. It wasn't easy to get used to everything and I started on the back foot, so I knew it was going to be a tough call to crawl back because the difference between finishing at the front and the back is so marginal here with everybody being so fast, if you have one slight disadvantage you can find yourself having very disappointing results. Because the potential is there in qualifying and in race pace to have the results that we want, which is what I'm going to concentrate on from now until the end of the season.

Q. How far into the season did those testing crashes at Sepang and Jerez set you back?

JT: I don't feel them now but it certainly nearly half a season to get up to the speed to take the bike to the potential that it shows, that's the difference. I've been riding pretty well, I had a top 10 result in Japan in round two. To take the bike to its potential you have to be completely 100 per cent fit.

Q. How is the relationship between you and Colin now?

JT: I'm pleased everybody is asking about this because it was taken out of context so much in the winter time. We're fine again, the dust has settled and Colin has realised what the situation really was. The problem was that the situation was at the last race of last year, where we changed engineers. The press said I'd pinched him and it looked like an old friend had gone behind your back, it really upset Colin and he flew off the handle. There's no quarter with Colin, whatever he thinks he says.

We obviously didn't see each other through the winter after the last race and by the time that had gone, he'd said things that I wasn't happy about and he thought I'd done something which kind of put a wall up between us. It was really disappointing because there was no reason for me and him to fall out. Now all the dust has settled on it, he's realised what the situation was and we're completely fine again. There's no way I'd have done what the press said I'd done to Colin, it wouldn't have happened.

Q. How close to the front do you think a satellite team can get in the remaining races this year?

JT: We had a bit of help from Yamaha with the electronics in Germany, which helped a bit and was very much welcomed. With the amount of development that Yamaha have had to put in to catch up to the speed of the Ducati, which had a phenomenal horsepower advantage when it first came out, all the manufacturers have really been stretched trying to catch up to that. It took nearly two years for the Yamaha and the Honda to go down the straight at nearly the same speed as the Ducati, which sacrificed the satellite teams a little bit. But it's still a package now that can fight for that fifth position, which has been open to quite a few riders this year.

Q. Do you see your future being in MotoGP? Do you expect to be back with Tech 3 next year?

JT: It's the ultimate challenge. I'm enjoying the challenge so much, it's not been an easy one what-so-ever, there's been a lot happening behind the scenes which has made things a lot more difficult that they should have been, but we've got through all that, I'm still riding as well as ever and improving as a rider. To be less than a second off Valentino Rossi in MotoGP, it's now possible to be competitive in this class. All I need to do now is get consistent with that kind of performance and I'll keep my job.

Q. But every rider must dream of getting onto a factory bike?

JT: Yeah, I'm telling Honda to offer Jorge 50 million to go there and then hopefully I can... I'm just kidding. I'm happy where I am. Tech 3 and Yamaha have welcomed me with open arms to MotoGP, the last two years have just been a pleasure. With Yamaha there's the music side of it as well, I get free pianos which is just amazing! I have honestly really enjoyed working for the company, even though it's been tough and I hope my MotoGP career can be much longer. The potential is there but for me to stay in MotoGP I need to show that I can be competitive to Yamaha to stop the rumours, and I truly believe I can do it.

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