James Toseland believes the challenge he faces in trying to reach the top of the MotoGP World Championship isn't any harder than doing the same in the World Superbike Championship.
The relative merits of each championship - and most specifically which provides the greatest test of rider talent - have long been debated, and no rider has yet won both the 500cc/MotoGP World Championship and World Superbike Championship.
Indeed, despite MotoGP joining WSBK in running four-stroke machinery since 2002, only Troy Bayliss, Max Biaggi, Alex Barros, Chris Vermeulen and Makoto Tamada have won both (four-stroke) MotoGP and WSBK races.
Double WSBK title winner Toseland, who switched to MotoGP this season, suggests the limited nature of that list is down to each championship producing its own outstanding specialists.
"They've got different riding styles [in MotoGP] and the way you overtake in MotoGP is different to Superbike," Toseland told Crash.net
. "But it's no easier to try and beat Valentino Rossi or the likes in MotoGP or Troy Bayliss in Superbikes.
"When I was in Superbikes we were all specialists in Superbike racing, so it was just as hard to win those races as these," he explained.
Toseland entered the World Superbike championship in 2001, finishing his first season in 13th position. He took his first podium in 2002, first win in 2003 and first title in 2004.
One area in which Toseland believes MotoGP differs significantly from WSBK is in the level of talent present throughout the (18-rider) field.
"The depth in MotoGP is just incredible. They've got eleven world champions in MotoGP, I believe, from various different classes," he said.