James Toseland has given his thoughts on former fellow Yamaha MotoGP riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi.
Toseland and Lorenzo both entered MotoGP in 2008, the Englishman joining the satellite Tech 3 team as the reigning World Superbike champion while Lorenzo - the reigning 250cc world champion - was teamed directly with Rossi at the factory Yamaha squad.
Toseland then briefly battled with Lorenzo during an impressive MotoGP debut at Qatar, after qualifying second to the Spaniard.
But their paths rarely crossed on-track during the next two years - Lorenzo progressing to second in the 2009 world championship, while Toseland dropped to 14th. Nevertheless, as Yamaha riders they spent their fair share of PR time together.
“On TV, Lorenzo annoys me like hell as he comes across really arrogant and cocky, but he's a lovely kid,” said Toseland, during an interview with Isle Of Man Today
. “That's why he has angel/devil on [his logo] as I can't stand the devil side of him.
“I dislike arrogance and cockiness in people and he's got that coming out of ears when he's got his helmet on, but once the helmet is off, he's quite a shy, reserved kid and a nice bloke.”
Regarding reigning seven time MotoGP world champion Rossi, Toseland feels that the Italian superstar - famous for his post-race celebrations and light-hearted approach to life - is genuine.
“Rossi is a comical, fun character, as portrayed on TV - it's not an act,” he said.
“Obviously, he does put a show on for the cameras but at the end of the day we are all showmen and I think MotoGP has really benefited from having a character like Valentino. The nice thing is when he comes off the track he's really similar and a nice, genuine, bubbly guy.
“His record speaks for itself, a nine-time world champion; he's one of the best riders of all time.”
Toseland returns to the World Superbike championship to seek a third title in 2010. His place at Tech 3, alongside Colin Edwards, has been taken by Ben Spies.