MotoGP »

ten Kate expects Toseland improvement.

James Toseland's World Superbike team manager, Ronald ten Kate, 'strongly believes' in the Englishman and expects to see a big step from him in MotoGP this year.

Despite winning the 2004 World Superbike Championship, Toseland was dropped by Ducati after finishing fifth in 2005 and looked short of options - before being picked up by Ten Kate Honda to replace MotoGP-bound Chris Vermeulen.

The new partnership brought instant results and Toseland rebuilt his reputation by taking second to Troy Bayliss in the 2006 WSBK championship - then became Ten Kate's first, and so far only, premier-class champion the following season.

Toseland began a new stage in his career with a move to MotoGP with Tech 3 Yamaha for 2008, where he claimed six sixth-place finishes and eleventh in the world championship - although the highlight of his year was arguably qualifying a superb second on his Qatar debut.

ten Kate now expects to see substantial improvement from Toseland during his second season.

“Well for sure from James we can expect quite a big step up this year. I truly and strongly believe in him as a racer,” said the Dutchman, speaking exclusively to “Also the new single tyre rule will definitely be a step forward for James. It was unfortunate to see him crash out so hard in testing at Sepang the other week, but I strongly believe that he will make a step.”

It was current Suzuki MotoGP rider Vermeulen who launched Ten Kate's first World Superbike attack when, having won the World Supersport title, the Australian moved with the team to the premier class in 2005. Vermeulen finished runner-up to Troy Corser before accepting the offer of a GSV-R ride.

The highlight of Vermeulen's three seasons in MotoGP is a debut victory in the wet French Grand Prix at Le Mans in 2007, plus six further podiums and three pole positions. Vermeulen's best championship ranking is sixth in 2007, although his machinery has rarely been a match for the best in MotoGP.

“With Chris Vermeulen we are going to have to see,” said ten Kate. “He has already been in MotoGP for a couple of years now, so as a rider I can't see him making a big step. It probably depends more on if Suzuki will make a big step forward. Looking at the latest test results at Sepang, Capirossi was right up there, so we might also see a step forward for Chris.”

The next MotoGP test takes place in Qatar from March 1-3.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Toseland, Vermeulen,  USA MotoGP 2008
Toseland, Spanish MotoGP 2016
Vermeulen, Phillip Island MotoGP test, February 2016
Banners, Japanese Moto2 Race 2015
BT Sport TV, Toseland, Doyle San Marino MotoGP Race 2015
Kent, Toseland, Qatar Moto3 2015
Stoner, Vermeulen, Australian MotoGP 2014
Stoner, Vermeulen, Australian MotoGP 2014
Vermeulen and Stoner, Australian MotoGP 2014
Michael Rivoire, Chris Vermeulen, Shoei helmet technician, Australian MotoGP 2014
Toseland and Craig Doyle, BT Sport TV presenters, Silverstone MotoGP 2014
Toseland and Craig Doyle, BT Sport TV presenters, Silverstone MotoGP 2014
Toseland and Craig Doyle, BT Sport TV presenters, Silverstone MotoGP 2014
Marquez, Indianapolis MotoGP 2014
James toseland, BT Sport presenter, Qatar MooGP 2014
Toseland and Hodgson, BT Sport TV presenters, Qatar MooGP 2014
Toseland, Crutchlow, Qatar MotoGP 2014
Crutchlow, Toseland and BT Sport TV camera, Qatar MotoGP 2014

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

Raw Dawg - Unregistered

February 23, 2009 4:02 AM

Damo James is not on a factory bike so he isn't on a title winning bike - just the title winning brand. All the factory bikes have moved on - satellite teams don't have a chance. And you can't compare Chris V. to KRJR who actually won the title - Chris has never been in the title conversation. And no, he didn't outshine Hopkins at Suzuki. In 2007 Hopkins finished 4th in the championship - 2 places ahead of Chris. Hopper finished 1 place ahead of him in 2006.


February 23, 2009 5:10 AM

Ken Tate is usually a good judge of rider. Working with J.T. for a year he would know if he has the will power to make it, I don't think we should write him off yet. Remember how long he has been in MotoGP. J.T. needs another year before we judge him. As an Australian, it's a bit hard to figure out Vermeulen, because he didn't dominate the racing scene over here before he went to europe. I'm not sure if he has the "**ck everyone I'm going to be world champion" attitude of the Gardiner's, Doohan's and Stoner's. If the suzuki is fast this year, he will definatly need to be near the front, he's been in the class long enough.

© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.