James Toseland has warned that if somebody wants his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 ride for the 2010 MotoGP season, they will have to 'prise his fingers off the handlebars' to get it.
That statement came at the end of a joint interview with Crash.net
and the BBC
, held at the British Library on Wednesday, when Toseland sat down for a three-way chat about his challenging season to date, ahead of his home Donington Park round.
Toseland traces his troubles back to the very first day of 2009 track action, during testing at Sepang in Malaysia, when he suffered a huge highside after going 'too fast too soon' during his debut on the hardest compound Bridgestone tyre.
Having safely negotiated the following Qatar test, Toseland then suffered another heavy fall at the final pre-season test in Jerez, leaving him well behind where he needed to be at the start of the racing season.
“I was very lucky to get away without broken bones in both of those falls,” said the Englishman. “I damaged my arm quite badly, I don't know whether it was muscular or tendon problems but I lost a lot of strength in my arm.
“When the bike hit me in Sepang my arm went completely dead. I was quite worried about it because I had no feeling in it whatsoever. It took a couple of months to get full strength again. Now everything is back to normal and I'm fully fit.
“Because of my injuries and lack of testing time this year, we were starting on the back foot,” he explained. “With the [Bridgestone] tyres the set-up of the bike is dramatically different to last year, when we were running on Michelins.
“Missing that testing time [due to the injuries] means I've been testing at the races. That's where the inconsistency has come from, because we were always changing and trying things. You can't really do that. In MotoGP you've got to be on it from Friday and then all the way through the weekend.
“You can't give these guys a running start, which I did unfortunately. We're been clawing our way back, had the sixth at Assen [round seven], and the potential is there to have those kind of results,” added the double World Superbike champion.