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Page last updated at 17:07 GMT, Wednesday, 18 June 2008 18:07 UK
Donington - 20-22 June, 2008



Steve Parrish
By Steve Parrish
BBC motorbikes commentator

James Toseland
All eyes will be on Toseland at Donington this weekend

I don't think I've ever looked forward to a British GP as much as this one.

And that is due to the fact that it's the first time since I've been commentating on MotoGP that there's the potential for a British rider to finish on the podium.

James Toseland goes into his first MotoGP at Donington with great expectations on his shoulders.

This week I saw him receive the prestigious Torrens Trophy from the Royal Automobile Club for his outstanding skill in international motorcycling sporting events in the United Kingdom.

When collecting his award, he was asked if a podium finish at Donington was out of the question and he categorically answered, "no".

He has great self-confidence and from what we have seen from him this year, it's completely justified.

He's had solid sixth-placed finishes despite having to spend half his time learning new tracks and that shows that potentially he can scoop a podium spot this weekend.

Everyone wants James Toseland this weekend

Steve Parrish

His confidence will be boosted because Donington is a track he knows well through his time in Superbikes and he also thinks his Yamaha will adapt to it very well.

The testing they did in Barcelona after the last race found out one or two things which should be very beneficial for the breaking areas at Donington Park, which are the hardest of any track we go to.

I just hope hometown pressure doesn't cause him to make any mistakes. He's a level-headed lad, but nevertheless you are under a great deal of self-induced pressure to do well on your home track.

I've been there myself and I know what it's like at a British Grand Prix - everyone and his aunt, people you went to school with, they all turn up and want a piece of you.

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It's very difficult to blank that out of your mind and really focus on what you are up to.

He has got a good management team and they will have to be rude for him because everyone wants James Toseland this weekend.

On Friday he's got a charity day and then, after that, he needs to pull the blinds down, get stuck in and stay focused until the race starts. Then he can run on the wave of noise behind him.

There's a milestone for the great Valentino Rossi this Sunday when he competes in his 200th MotoGP race.

He is in such sensational form at the moment. It's great to see the master at work, his rise from ninth on the grid to second in Barcelona was vintage Rossi.

Dani Pedrosa is his biggest threat for the championship, and it's going to be a long slog to the end.

Pedrosa and Rossi's consistency has shaped the season into a two-horse race with an outsider in Casey Stoner.

I reckon the championship will come down to whose bike doesn't break down or who doesn't come off.

These guys are going to be banging in 25-pointers at some point of the season and when you lose 25 points through bike trouble or a crash, which has happened to Stoner and Jorge Lorenzo, it gives you a hell of a task to get back up there.

On to the track and Stoner has been critical of Donington despite his win in the rain last year.

It is a peculiar circuit and a lot of riders have said it is a two-part track.

It's got a beautiful long flowing section from the start-line down through to Craner Curves, but then there's the area known as the 'car park' section when you come back up to Fogarty Esses and go down to Melbourne Loop.

The Loop was tagged onto the end of the track to make it eligible for a Grand Prix and I'm not sure a lot of thought was put it into it.

That said it's still a great place for overtaking and can be very exciting.

It should be a great race, let's hope it stays dry.


Donington prediction 1. Rossi 2. Pedrosa 3. Stoner (4. Toseland)

Steve Parrish was talking to Paul Birch




see also
James Toseland Q&A
20 Jun 08 |  Motorbikes
Can Toseland fly the flag?
09 Jun 08 |  Motorbikes
Rookie Toseland comes good
02 Jun 08 |  Motorbikes
Capirossi to miss British MotoGP
12 Jun 08 |  Motorbikes
Pedrosa powers to Catalunya win
08 Jun 08 |  Motorbikes
Rossi set to extend Yamaha deal
07 Jun 08 |  Motorbikes
MotoGP world championship
01 Jun 08 |  Motorbikes
BBC pundits on MotoGP 2008
06 Mar 08 |  Motorbikes
MotoGP on the BBC
02 Jun 08 |  Motorbikes
Contact the motorbikes TV team
06 Mar 07 |  Motorbikes


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