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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 August 2007, 16:46 GMT 17:46 UK
Toseland 'gambles' on MotoGP move
James Toseland
Toseland is on course for a second World Superbikes title
World Superbike rider James Toseland will race for Yamaha's Tech 3 team in next year's MotoGP championship.

The Ten Kate Honda rider says it is a "massive gamble" but that he will have achieved all he can in Superbikes if he wins a second world title this year.

"The easy choice was to stay and be competitive in Superbikes. I could continue that, no problem," he said.

"It was a big decision to make but I want to see where I line up against the best in the business."

I was one year old when Barry Sheene won the last race by a Brit and I've worked hard for the last ten years to be given this chance to emulate him

James Toseland

In the past, the 26-year-old always said any possible move up to MotoGP would depend upon being given a competitive ride.

Although he does not have experience in any of the MotoGP categories, he said he felt the depth of his experience in Superbikes should make up for that.

"The seven years I've had in Superbikes and hopefully being a two time world champion will prove that I can be competitive there and I'm quitely confident that I can be," he said.

"You need the team, the bike and the package around you, and I think I've got that now.

"It's a 2008 Yamaha and it's not a million miles away from what Valentino Rossi will be riding.


"I want to be the first British rider to be competitive in GPs since Barry Sheene.

"I never got to see any of his racing but you can't get away from the fact that he was the last true household name in British motorcycling.

"I was one year old when Sheene won the last race by a Brit and I've worked hard for the last 10 years to be given this chance to emulate him."

With four rounds of the World Superbikes championship remaining,Toseland leads the standings by 43 points.

He has made no secret of wanting to race in MotoGP, but fellow Britons Neil Hodgson, Shane Byrne and James Ellison have failed in the category recently, with Ellison riding for the same team Toseland has joined.

"I would like to thank the Ten Kate team for all of their help and support," said Toseland.

"I could not have achieved as much as I have without the team's assistance and expertise and I remain 100% committed to securing the title for them this year.

"I would like to wish them the best of luck for the future."

The next round of the championship takes place at Brands Hatch this weekend, with other races taking place in Germany and Italy before the season ends at Magny-Cours in France on 7 October.

He revealed Honda had wanted to retain his services, but they could not give him the MotoGP chance he wanted.

"Honda wanted me to stay with them, but that was in World Superbikes," he told Motorcycle News.

"As far as MotoGP goes with Honda they have a long list of riders for their MotoGP slots."

Tech 3 will be upgraded from satellite outfit to full factory team next year, and team boss Herve Poncharal was delighted at his decision to join.

"I am delighted to have secured a rider of James' calibre and am looking forward to working with him," he said.

"Procuring James is a major coup for Tech 3 Yamaha and for the MotoGP championship in extending our reach into Northern Europe. It is an exciting time for us all and I am certain that he will be an integral part of the team's future."

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