James Toseland has pronounced himself happy with his performance during post-season testing at Portimao, as he took the first steps to becoming reacquainted with World Superbike machinery for the first time in two years.
Having made a swift return to Europe following his MotoGP race outing in Malaysia, Toseland spent the first day learning his way around the title-winning Yamaha R1, as well as the undulating Portuguese circuit.
From there, Toseland began to improve his times, the two-time World Superbike Champion joining a handful of contemporaries in the lapping faster than Ben Spies did over the race weekend.
Managing a best time of 1min 43.147secs – placing him eighth on the unofficial timesheets -, although Toseland was a second slower than new team-mate Cal Crutchlow, he insists it was important he focused on finding the bike's limits and not crashing.
“I've been looking at Ben's race time and in two days on the bike we are nearly a second a lap faster by the end, which I'm quite pleased with,” he said. “We've got some work to do but for my first test on the bike we've been getting to understand the suspension and a few things and getting to understand how the bike reacts to some changes. We're working on some of the electronics and an area of engine work as well.
“We've had a good test and have a lot of information to work on for next year. I like the bike, it's so much different to what I'm used to though so it's taking some time to tame the beast!
“When you ride a heavier bike you have to take your time to find its limits. One thing I didn't want to do was crash as I've got another GP to race next week. I'm really pleased with the team, and looking forward to testing again as soon as possible.”
Team manager Massimo Meregalli was also pleased with Toseland's efforts, particularly given he hasn't ridden a production-based bike since 2007.
“James needs some time after a two year run in Moto GP he's in a different world and riding on a very difficult circuit. He made good improvements from yesterday so he's keeping going in the right direction.”
Toseland will get his one chance to go head-to-head with Spies, his replacement at Tech 3 Yamaha, at the 2009 MotoGP finale in Valencia when the American enters as a wild-card.