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Page last updated at 12:57 GMT, Friday, 20 June 2008 13:57 UK
Donington - 20-22 June, 2008

James Toseland
Toseland answers your questions
James Toseland, Britain's one and only MotoGP rider, heads to Donington Park this weekend with a real chance of a podium finish for the first time this season.

Having twice won the World Superbike championship, Toseland is now enjoying his rookie season at the elite level of motorcycling.

However, already he has impressed on his Yamaha Tech 3, exceeding expectations in securing four sixth-place finishes so far this season to lie seventh overall in the standings.

With 120,000 fans expected at Donington, Toseland took time out from practise to answer questions from our 606 users.

How does your GP bike "feel" compared with WSB machines? (Castor)

James: The MotoGP bikes are much lighter, they have better brakes and are far more physically demanding to ride than the WSBK machines. Because they are thoroughbred race machines their capabilities are much higher.

Do you think you think a win is achievable this year or do you think you will need to get more used to the machinery and circuits? (Penske666)

James: I go racing to win and I think that it is definitely possible to win this year. It's all about consistently improving and already this season we're not too far from the front.

Do you enjoy MotoGP as much as WSB? And is your perception of MotoGP affected by some of the undeserved flak you've had from some quarters over some manoeuvres? (autounion)

James: Yes, I enjoy it just as much; it's a totally different experience. I don't feel that I've had any flak. Any comments that have resembled criticism have come in the heat of the moment when riders have been frustrated that I've passed them, but there are certainly no ongoing problems with any of the riders.

If you were asked by a F1 team to race in Formula One, would you say yes or no? (THENUNNYFOX)

James: I would say thank you very much for the kind offer, but I would stick to what I know best!

After every F1 race there's a lot of press coverage about Lewis Hamilton, yet you've won 2 WSB titles and barely get a mention. Does this annoy you at all? (Carla-Jayne)

James: It doesn't annoy me at all. When you step onto the podium and hear your national anthem, that kind of thing doesn't enter your mind. I've certainly received more press since moving to MotoGP, however I race because that's what I love and the positive reaction is just an added bonus.

The last Brit to win a GP at the highest level was Barry Sheene 27 years ago. Do you feel any weight of expectation for you to win? (Timmozzy)

James: Obviously there's a lot of attention on a British rider in the premier class of motorcycle racing, but I don't look at it as a burden. When I'm racing, I'm just focused on the task in hand.

How long do you realistically think it will take you to challenge Rossi and co for the MotoGP championship title? (yammyR1)

James: We're not too far away from the front. As long as I continue to improve, I'm happy, and I think a win will just be the reward for the hard work that I've put in.

Who most deserves rookie of the year this year and why? (motogpphil)

James: It's very early to start making predictions, but I really respect what Jorge Lorenzo has done since moving up. But saying that, the rest of us rookies seem to be getting better all the time, and anything can happen by the end of the year.

If you had to choose a song that sums you up, which would it be and why? (Laura)

James: I think Queen - One Vision is a great tune, and it sums up my focus when I'm racing!

British riders have achieved huge success in World Superbikes in the last 10 to 15 years yet the last British rider to win a top class Grand Prix is still Barry Sheene in 1982: to what do you attribute this relative lack of success in GPs? (Rossifumi)

James: I think that the top level of motorcycle racing is a very difficult place to be, but we've produced some very good riders in the past few decades, who I'm sure, if they were given their chance, would have been fighting for world titles.

Racing so close to your rivals must require a certain amount of trust in their abilities; which of your MotoGP rivals do you trust the most whilst jostling for position, and whom do you trust the least? (mpv2409)

James: I trust them all. At this level, everybody respects the boundaries and nobody in the paddock would cross the line. Everybody is here on merit and we are all capable and professional enough to respect each other and the limits.

Donington could prove to be one of the best moments of my life

James Toseland
I know you like to play keyboards. Who is your favourite musician? (jackofshadows)

James: My favourite musician is either Jon Bon Jovi or Axel Rose. I'm an old rocker at heart!

How much of a difference is it going to make this weekend that you're only going to have to concentrate on bike set-up rather than learning a new track as well? (UFCAllsports)

James: This season has brought with it a lot of challenges, the biggest of which is racing at circuits I don't know. I love racing at Donington Park, and having raced there before, I obviously know the track; however it's always important to focus on getting the set-up just right. This is the first time I've ridden there on a MotoGP bike, so in itself that brings different challenges.

Hi James, well done on the season so far. Two quick questions: What is your aim for Donno... podium? Which spec bike will you be riding? (lord_shuttleworth)

James: I think a podium is achievable and that is what I'll be looking for.

This weekend is going to be your first ever MotoGP on home soil, do you think that that puts added pressure on you? (Jay)

James: I don't really feel any added pressure ahead of Donington. There has been plenty of build-up and of course I want to make all my fans proud, but all the attention won't affect me when the lights go out and I'm racing.

Well done so far this season JT. What are your targets this season? (onlytwokerrymayos)

James: My target is to improve. I'm delighted with the start that I've had, but I'm sure that even Valentino would agree that there is always room for improvement. My goal hasn't really changed, and I would be over the moon to have finished sixth in my first season. It would give me the perfect springboard for progression next season.

Given your promising start to the season and qualifying third on the grid, how would you rate your performance so far this season? (Jetleon)

James: I'm happy with the start that I've had, although I do still feel that there are areas to improve on. I'm grateful for all the support I've had this season, and I feel very lucky that people believe in my ability.

What's it like working alongside Colin Edwards, does he give any tips when it comes to learning the tracks or is it down to you and your team? (Joe Green #7)

James: I'm really fortunate to have Colin's advice this year. He's someone who has been in the business for many years and has plenty of experience at the top level. I always take his advice on board as he's someone I really respect.

How do you make enough time for yourself- and how do you chill out? (trickywoos)

James: I love playing with my band, Crash. Playing music is my way of winding down.

In the past when you have won, your bosses bought you an extravagant present, for example a grand piano - have the Tech 3 team bosses hinted at getting you any unusual gifts if you win your home GP? (Francesca)

James: I'm not sure I'm the best person to answer that! I think that the best present I could get is a win at Donington. I would be delighted with that.

Were you upset by Foggy's comments about you recently? I saw your reply to him and know that it looked like you weren't bothered but deep down did you just think it was sour grapes?! (saintMandymoo)

James: No, I'm not upset at all. I've known Carl for some time now and we always get on well. I suspect that what he said was taken out of context, as I don't believe he's the type of person to make comments like that.

see also
All geared up for Donington
20 Jun 08 |  Motorbikes
Toseland aiming for podium finish
19 Jun 08 |  Motorbikes
Steve Parrish's MotoGP column
18 Jun 08 |  Motorbikes
Can Toseland fly the flag?
09 Jun 08 |  Motorbikes
Toseland frustrated by conditions
04 May 08 |  Motorbikes
The team behind James Toseland
27 Apr 08 |  Motorsport

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