James Toseland has predicted that the World Superbike Championship will be fiercely competitive in 2010.
The former double WSBK champion embarks on a new chapter this year after two seasons spent competing in MotoGP, the Briton bidding to become the first rider to win three titles with three different manufacturers.
Although he has yet to really shine during winter testing, he remains confident about his chances with the Yamaha Sterilgarda [see separate story - click here
Meanwhile speaking to worldsbk.com
, Toseland added that there are at least ten possible candidates who can finish on the podium this year.
"I think there are more rivals than ever before, with the exception of Troy Bayliss not being there," he noted. "Troy was in there when I was last racing in SBK, and he was a tough cookie.
"There are seven Brits in there this year, and they are all capable of being in that top eight, top six, at some stage.
"Then there are the regulars like Haga, Checa, Biaggi, Fabrizio, Corser and others. Cal has only just jumped back on a Superbike again so he has to find his feet. You don't know how much he is going to improve but obviously he is going to.
"You don't know how much that BMW is going to improve for Troy Corser either. There are a lot of riders in the mix.
"In this championship this year there really are any of six riders who could stand on the top step. I think there are at least ten podium finishers. There are seven British riders who could stand on a podium! It is going to be really great for the show."