Toseland satisfied with Yamaha R1 debut.

"It felt a bit alien after two years on a GP bike but the balance felt good" - James Toseland.
Toseland, Portuguese WSBK Test 2009
Toseland, Portuguese WSBK Test 2009
© Gold and Goose

After a nightmare weekend at the Malaysian MotoGP round, James Toseland headed straight for Portimao to make his Yamaha R1 debut ahead of a 2010 return to the World Superbike Championship.

As well as his first time with the title-winning R1 and factory Yamaha team, Tuesday also marked the first time that Toseland - already a WSBK champion with Ducati and Honda - had ridden at the thrilling Portuguese circuit.

The #52 ended the day with a best lap time of 1min 43.7sec.

To put that into perspective, the fastest time of the day was a 1min 42.156sec by Ten Kate Honda's Jonathan Rea, while Toseland's new team-mate and newly crowned World Supersport champion, Cal Crutchlow, was third fastest with a 1min 42.795sec.

"I'm feeling really positive, it's obviously my first time on the bike, it felt a bit alien after two years on a GP bike but the balance of the bike felt good and I'm really impressed with how the team's working, I've got an old friend of mine as a chief engineer.

"I've been really impressed to work with him today and Silvano Galbusera [technical co-ordinator] looking over him with his experience has been great.

"What's been nice is the changes we've been making have always been in a positive direction, so to say we've got down to more or less race pace on a brand new track and a brand new bike is good, I'm pretty pleased with it."

"It was easier for Cal compared to James as he already knew the track," said team manager Massimo Meregalli. "Everything was new for James today, the bike, the track, tyres, many things! I think tomorrow he will make another step. For the first day we are very satisfied with both riders."

Toseland will continue testing on Wednesday before returning to the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team for the Valencia season finale, where Toseland will ride against his 2010 replacement Ben Spies.

Spies clinched Yamaha's first ever WSBK crown at Portimao on Sunday. The American set a best lap time of 1min 43.647sec on his way to race one victory on Sunday.

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