Tech 3 Yamaha team manager Herve Poncharal has paid tribute to James Toseland after it was announced today the Briton will be replaced by Ben Spies in MotoGP next season.

Current World Superbike title contender Ben Spies will take Toseland's place alongside Colin Edwards in 2010 after the American decided he wanted to progress to the premier category a year earlier than originally planned.

With Edwards also signing an extension to his contract, Toseland's lack of MotoGP options has seen him return to the World Superbike Championship in 2010 with the Yamaha WSB team.

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Bidding to become the first rider to win three WSBK titles with three different manufacturers, Toseland returns after two fairly disappointing seasons at MotoGP level.

Finishing his first MotoGP season in eleventh with a best race finish of sixth, Toseland has endured a struggle this season, the Briton currently languishing in 13th position overall. Nonetheless, Tech 3 Yamaha team manager Herve Poncharal paid tribute to the British 27-year-old.

"I would like to thank James Toseland," he said. "He has been one of the most determined and dedicated riders ever to work with Tech 3. I have nothing but admiration for James and it has been a privilege working with him. I wish him all the best for the future."

Toseland, who won the 2004 and 2007 WSBK titles with Ducati and Honda respectively, will be joined at Yamaha WSB by fellow Brit and Supersport graduate Cal Crutchlow.