James Toseland's bid to become the first rider to win three World Superbike titles with three different manufacturers got off to a bad start as he leaves Phillip Island with only a tenth place finish and several bruises to show for.
Toseland's first World Superbike race since he left the series as champion back in 2007, the Briton made a decent start from eighth on the grid during the first encounter to run seventh early on.
However, his race would last just three laps before he high-sided at Lukey Heights, Toseland proceeding to land heavily on the hand he injured in a crash during free practice two days earlier.
Nonetheless, Toseland was back on the bike for race two, running as high as fifth initially before his form steadily began to wane. Caught and passed first by Carlos Checa, then Troy Corser and Jonathan Rea, Toseland gamely clung on to eighth position before both Max Biaggi and Cal Crutchlow would demote him to tenth late on.
Not the successful start he had envisaged pre-season, while Toseland was disappointed to come away with just a handful of points, he remains confident that there is plenty of potential in the Yamaha package.
"I really needed to finish the second race after the crash in the first,” he said. “To only finish 14 seconds from the front with the issues we've had this weekend is not so bad. I was really disappointed with the first race, with my injury on Friday I wanted to have two good finishes today.
“Full credit to the team they've tried so hard but unfortunately we haven't had the software here to solve the issue. We know what the problem is and I've given enough feedback and input to give the guys a direction to go in.
“We've got a lot of work to do, no doubt, but even with all the problems we're not actually that far away. The package, the power, the balance and the suspension have come on leaps and bounds. On to Portimao now, it's a long season so we can do it."