James Toseland was a main player in two of the best races witnessed this season at Magny Cours on Sunday, winning race one then setting for a close third in race two - securing second in the championship.

The Winston Ten Kate Honda rider came into the French season-finale just two points clear of Yamaha Italia's Haga, but gained vital ground after beating the Japanese by just 0.115secs at the end of a classic race one battle.

"I got a pretty decent start, was in second place, had a couple of laps battling with Corser then got into the lead and had an unbelievable battle with Haga," Toseland told Crash.net Radio. "We were both going for second in the championship - he wasn't letting up and I wasn't either so it ended up being one of the best races of the year I think. To dig deep and beat him for the win was really important in terms of securing second in the championship."

That triumph marked the 2004 world champion's third victory of the season and the Briton was well in contention for a fourth as he led the majority of race two. However, with Haga fading to fourth place, Toseland wasn't prepared to match the all-or-nothing approach of 2006 champion Troy Bayliss and 2005 champion Troy Corser and settled for a late third position.

"In the second race I got another good start, was in second again behind Corser, but he must have changed something on his bike because he was much, much faster than in race one," said James. "I got into the lead though and tried to put some quick laps in. I felt a bit more comfortable than the first race and was able to set consistently fast laps. I'd asked the team to show the gap between me and Haga on my pit board - it didn't matter about anyone else - and I saw it go +1, +2, +3 (seconds)... But then Bayliss came past - riding like he didn't care if he put it into the wall!

"If second in the championship was between me and Bayliss then I think I could have dug deep and just stayed with him, but with two laps to go he was riding really hard and I couldn't afford to ride like that because it was too close to crashing. So I crossed the line third to get second in the championship. It's the icing on the cake for me and also the Ten Kate team; they deserved the second place as much as me. All my family and friend have been ace this year and I've had so much support from the public, it's been amazing! Hopefully I'll go one better next year.

"I wanted the title this year and until Imola we still had a small chance until Bayliss, deservedly, took the title. He's rode a great season so I can't take anything away from him. I'm just so pleased to have turned things around from last year, when I didn't have a job. It's been a great year," concluded Toseland, who has already re-signed to ride for Ten Kate Honda next season.