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Page last updated at 07:03 GMT, Tuesday, 7 April 2009 08:03 UK

Toseland eyes greater consistency

Qatar MotoGP, Doha
Date: 11-12 April
Saturday 11 April: Qualifying: BBC Red Button and BBC Sport website - 1950-2300 BST Sunday 12 April: Preview -BBC2 1300-1330 BST; 125cc and 250cc races - BBC Red Button and BBC Sport website 1750-2005 BST; MotoGP race - BBC Three and BBC Sport website, 2045-2200 BST

By Julian Shea

James Toseland
Toseland's first year in MotoGP was a learning experience

James Toseland is hoping for better consistency in his performance and in racing conditions when the 2009 MotoGP championship starts in Qatar on Sunday.

The 28-year-old Tech 3 Yamaha rider had a mixed debut season in the competition last year, but hopes he has can build on what he learnt in his first year.

"There were many reasons, some down to me, some out of my control, which made for an inconsistent year," he said.

"I had six sixth places so we need to have that as a base and work on that."

Toseland came into the elite class last year as reigning World Superbike champion, and began brightly, with four sixth-placed finishes in his first seven races.

But in new surroundings, a new team and on new tracks, he had to do a lot of learning on the hoof.

There's no doubt that the recent testing programme has been tough and I'm still working hard to understand the limit of the new tyres

James Toseland

"I always knew the new tracks would be tough and radical changes were made to the bike, and we had problems with the Michelin tyres in some races," he said.

"The difference this season will be experience - I know all the tracks now so it's about getting up to speed and battling consistently to be at the front."

The Yorkshireman admits some of his mistakes last season were "almost amateur", and he was forced to learn the hard way.

And the unpredictability of the weather made it even harder to get to grips with new venues.

"At eight of the circuits I didn't know, we had a wet day and a dry day, so I'd only had two hours in the particular conditions," he said.

"If I'd had the whole weekend in one weather, I'd have got up to speed in a much better way.


"It was really difficult with mixed conditions - out of 18 rounds, I think 13 or 14 were mixed conditions - even in Laguna Seca in California in July, it was six degrees - some of it was just freaky."

Toseland's preparations for the 2009 season have not been helped by a high-profile fall-out with team-mate Colin Edwards, and a series of setbacks in testing.

In Qatar testing was affected by rain, at Sepang in Malaysia he crashed and suffered concussion and an arm injury, and in Jerez he was lucky to escape with just an ankle injury after a spectacular high-side.

But in a message on his own website, Toseland said he was as determined as ever to give his all in the coming season.

"There's no doubt that the recent testing programme has been tough and I'm still working hard to understand the limit of the new tyres," he said.

"However, I have been extremely lucky to escape serious injury at both Sepang and Jerez.

"As we all know, the race is where results really count and I am completely focused on achieving success in my second year in MotoGP."

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see also
Lorenzo happy to keep on learning
06 Apr 09 |  MotoGP
Toseland regrets Edwards fall-out
02 Apr 09 |  MotoGP
MotoGP on the BBC
01 Apr 09 |  MotoGP
Toseland crashes in Jerez test
29 Mar 09 |  MotoGP
Hungarian MotoGP axed from list
12 Mar 09 |  MotoGP
Yamaha duo fall out over pit crew
19 Feb 09 |  MotoGP
MotoGP calendar 2011
15 Mar 11 |  MotoGP
Toseland keen on Edwards link-up
06 Sep 07 |  MotoGP

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