Toseland 'would definitely' return to MotoGP if opportunity arose

Having been overlooked for a potential MotoGP comeback in-place of Colin Edwards at his old team Tech 3 should the American have taken the injured Valentino Rossi's ride at FIAT Yamaha, double WSBK Champion James Toseland insists never-say-never regarding an eventual return
Despite having been, some would say, chewed up and spat out by MotoGP during his two years in the category with Tech 3 Yamaha in 2008 and 2009, James Toseland has confessed that he would 'definitely' be interested in going back should the right opportunity present itself.

Following a solid 'rookie' campaign in the premier class with the Yamaha satellite squad two years ago as the reigning World Superbike Champion, Toseland then endured a tough time of things during his sophomore season, being routinely outpaced by team-mate Colin Edwards, winding up a lowly 14th in the final riders' standings and ultimately finding himself replaced for 2010 by his WSBK title-winning successor Ben Spies – who has himself gone on to make his compatriot Edwards look rather ordinary this year.

When Valentino Rossi was injured at Mugello just over a month ago and Edwards was linked with temporarily taking the Italian's place at FIAT Yamaha, Toseland's current Yamaha Sterilgarda team-mate Cal Crutchlow was in-turn offered the American's ride – but the Yorkshireman was not. Acknowledging that it was a blow not to be considered to step back up again, the 16-time WSBK race-winner conceded that he remains very open to future possibilities to return.

“No, not at all,” he told Radio, when asked if there had been any discussion regarding him substituting Edwards. “I was a bit disappointed that I didn't get the same opportunity as Cal was supposedly offered. Obviously that was a bit of a sticking-point in communication, but my job is in World Superbikes and I've got to do the best I can there.

“At the moment there are no negotiations for MotoGP. I'm happy where I am, so we'll just see if I can keep it going. If a good opportunity came in MotoGP, I'd definitely take it, but we'll have to see. I've never closed any doors in my career, so any opportunity at all I'd love to go back.”

Toseland did at least get close to the premier class at last weekend's annual Goodwood Festival of Speed celebration, as he took to the famous hill aboard an 18-year-old 500cc machine formerly ridden by Australian hero Peter Goddard, and got to rub shoulders with a couple of the sport's true legends.

“It was only the second time I've been, actually,” the 29-year-old confessed. “I've had quite a long career now, and to say I've only been twice is surprising. I came in 2006 with my band, and I really enjoyed it that year playing with them to the crowd. This year I was on Peter Goddard's '92 500cc Yamaha; it's a lovely little thing, so it was quite exciting. It was just a shame I couldn't take it round the circuit, because I'd have liked to open it up a bit really!

“[Eight-time 500cc World Champion Giacomo] Agostini was there and [former 500cc World Champion] Kevin Schwantz on his Suzuki, which is a package that I idolised when I was first watching racing in '93 when he won the championship on that bike. Goodwood is just a great event to be involved with.”

by Russell Atkins

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Toseland, Valencia MotoGP 2009
Toseland, Valencia MotoGP Race 2009
Toseland, Valencia MotoGP 2009
Toseland, Malaysian MotoGP 2009
Toseland, Misano WSBK 2010
Toseland, Misano WSBK Race 1 2010
Toseland, Kyalami WSBK 2010
Toseland, Misano WSBK 2010
James Toseland - Yamaha Sterilgarda [pic credit: Bike Sport Pics]
Toseland, Misano WSBK 2010
Van der Mark, Lowes, Nakasuga, Yamaha, Suzuka 8 Hours [Credit: Yamaha]
Yamaha pack up for long haul, Misano WSBK 2017
Yamaha pack up for long haul, Misano WSBK 2017
Yamaha pack up for long haul, Misano WSBK 2017
Yamaha pack up for long haul, Misano WSBK 2017
Spies, WSBK Race1, Misano WSBK 2017
Spies, WSBK Race1, Misano WSBK 2017
Caricasulo qualifies 3rd, WSS, Misano WSBK 2017

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July 07, 2010 5:02 PM

If JT cannot even beat half the superbike field whilst on the winning bike and oodles of experience, who in their right mind would bring him into MotoGP. About the only candidate in Superbikes worthy of a MotoGP ride is Haslam. I wish you luck JT, you seem like a nice chap, but if you want to be considered for a MotoGP ride back you need to be consistently winning races in Spies-like fashion. Heck, you don't even have ducati to contend with this season, you should/need to be winning in a convincing manner.

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