James Toseland has called on the British Government to recognise the benefits of motorcycle sport for young people in the UK.
Toseland, the only British rider on the 2009 MotoGP grid, has given his support to the newly-formed Motorcycle Sport Political Strategy Group (MPS), which is a joint venture from the Auto Cycle Union (ACU), the Amateur Motor Cycle Association (AMCA) and the Motor Cycle Industry Association (MCI) to combat the increasing political and social pressures threatening motorcycle sport in the UK.
“If I didn't have the opportunity to start my motorcycling career at Bracken Rocks as a child, it is unlikely that I would still be fortunate enough to be representing my country in MotoGP,” said the double World Superbike champion.
“The amount of support that I receive from the British fans is incredible and is indicative of the country's level of interest in motorcycle sport.
“In general, we tend to start our two-wheel careers much later than other European countries - a disadvantage on the world stage - so the suggestion that the Government would like to add further barriers is incomprehensible.
“It astounds me that I frequently hear criticism of British youth and a developing yob culture, but at the same time the Government insists on removing opportunities that could help to provide focus and discipline in a fun environment. I wish the MPS the best of luck with their campaign.”
MPS has grown out of pressure on off-road sport venues and an increasing environmental focus put upon motorcycle sport. MPS will provide a common lobbying voice with the aim of securing support from Parliamentarians and the Government for motorcycle sport activities.
“The ACU is pleased to once again be working with our friends from the Motorcycle Industry in this important initiative for the future of our sport,” said Dave Luscombe, ACU Business Development manager. “I am also happy to have the support of one of Britain's biggest sporting stars - James Toseland - behind the MPS. He finished fourth in the BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 2007 and that graphically shows just how popular James and motorcycle sport are to the public.”