James Toseland says he is ready to shrug off a difficult start to the 2009 MotoGP season by striving for the top six results he believes his Tech 3 Yamaha team 'deserve'.
The Briton currently lies 13th in the overall standings with a results sequence of 16-9-13-9 following the first four races of the season, but maintains he and the bike are capable of better.
Indeed, Toseland, speaking exclusively to Crash.net Radio
, identifies qualifying as being his first obstacle to overcome, insisting that his race pace isn't being reflected by his starting positions.
“The bike is very capable of being inside the top six because that is where I was last year,” he said. “Our race pace has been around that area this season, but because it is so close in MotoGP, if you qualify in 12th or 13th, you are likely to finish around there. If we can get on the first two rows, we can have a really strong race I think.”
Starting the season on the back of two mammoth testing accidents at Sepang and Jerez, Toseland reveals the loss of track time, particularly following the switch to a single-tyre format, has been setting him back, adding that he has been forced to 'test' whilst racing.
“I lost the time with the crashes. I missed all of the Sepang test with that crash and I didn't do myself any favours in Jerez either! We are testing as we race, which isn't ideal, but we are getting there.”
Nonetheless, Toseland insists he is no longer feeling the after-effects of his crashes and is working hard in his bid to scale the grid once again.
“We had a rocky start with the crashes during the pre-season and I have only just gotten over the injuries. We should have finished seventh at Le Mans if we had a harder front tyre on, but we attempted something softer given the conditions, and that was my choice. The team and everything else is working well, so we are looking forward to Mugello.”
Toseland was speaking during a charity concert, arranged by www.tourmoto.co.uk
, with his band CRASH, who were performing in aid of Riders for Health. For him, it provides important escapism from racing.
“We are raising money for Riders for Health. It is a charity I have supported for many years and it is a great cause. I have always enjoyed it. The more serious the racing has got for me, the more I enjoy the playing to relax. I am so lucky to have something that can let me take my mind off racing and the band is the only thing that does that.”