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Page last updated at 13:48 GMT, Thursday, 1 October 2009 14:48 UK

Toseland to return to Superbikes

Portuguese MotoGP, Estoril
Date: 3-4 October
Saturday 3 October: Qualifying: 1250-1600, BBC Red Button/online Sunday 4 October: 250cc race: 1105-1205, BBC Red Button/online Race live: 1230-1400, BBC One/online, MotoGP Extra 1400-1430, Red Button/online, 125cc race: 1430-1530 BBC Red Button/online

James Toseland
Toseland won the World Superbike title in 2004 and 2007

Britain's James Toseland will return to World Superbikes after losing his MotoGP ride with the Yamaha Tech 3 team for next season to American Ben Spies.

The Yorkshireman will take Spies's place in World Superbikes, a class in which he was twice world champion before stepping up to MotoGP last year.

Toseland has struggled for two years and is currently 13th in the standings.

Tech 3 boss Herve Poncharal said: "I would like to thank James. It has been a privilege working with him."

In his two years in MotoGP, Toseland, who turns 29 on Monday, has never managed to finish a race higher than sixth.

This year, his chances of success were hampered by two major pre-season crashes which set back his preparations.


He admitted he was disappointed at leaving the elite class but was looking forward to showing he was still a world-class rider and was happy to stick with Yamaha.

"I want to show I'm still the rider that can win world titles," he said.

"I know many of the Yamaha World Superbike Team guys, so I'm going to pick up where I left off and give 100% to achieving good results with the team.

"Within Superbike there were a few options available to me, however the way Yamaha have treated me since I joined them has been outstanding. They gave me a great opportunity in MotoGP, but now I do wish Ben all the best in his campaign and my aim is to continue Yamaha's success in World Superbike."

Spies, 25, had been contracted to ride in World Superbikes for Yamaha again in 2010 with a deal to switch with them to MotoGP in 2011, but after impressing with 12 race wins so far this season, he will team up with fellow American Colin Edwards in MotoGP a year early.

He said: "I want to thank Yamaha globally for their faith in me, they have treated me like royalty.

"Yamaha just recently allowed me to re-think my contract for 2010-2011. I did sign for Superbikes for 2010 but I began thinking of the competition and my age and waiting until 2011.

"This was not an easy decision, the Yamaha World Superbike team crew have been fantastic and it's been great fun to put in a season together.

"I am hoping that I can give everyone else a championship to remember this year with me."

Going into this weekend's World Superbike races at Magny-Cours in France, Spies lies just three points behind championship leader Noriyuki Haga.

Poncharal added: "It's a very exciting prospect having a rider of Ben's calibre join our team. Everybody is aware that he is a rider with incredible talent and huge potential.

"Colin and Ben together means Tech 3 will arguably field its strongest ever line-up and everybody in the team can look forward to 2010 with tremendous excitement and optimism."

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see also
Stoner set for Estoril comeback
29 Sep 09 |  MotoGP
Toseland disappointed with top 10
07 Sep 09 |  Motorsport
Rossi eases to San Marino victory
06 Sep 09 |  MotoGP
Toseland hopes to keep Tech 3 ride
30 Aug 09 |  MotoGP
Toseland set for Donington test
25 Jul 09 |  MotoGP
Qualifying is key, says Toseland
06 May 09 |  MotoGP
Toseland eyes greater consistency
07 Apr 09 |  MotoGP
Toseland crashes in Jerez test
29 Mar 09 |  MotoGP
Toseland crashes in MotoGP tests
05 Feb 09 |  MotoGP

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