Two-time World Superbike champion James Toseland has cast his eye over the 2020 season as he prepares to step back into the paddock as team manager to Danny Webb’s WRP Wepol Racing Yamaha squad.

After retiring from racing back in 2011, Toseland has acted a mentor to a number of young riders including 2015 Moto3 world champion Danny Kent, while also developing his music career and TV punditry work.

Toseland returns to the World Superbike paddock as team manager at WRP Wepol Racing to support fellow Brit Danny Webb who is back on the World Supersport grid for the first time since 2013.

Casting his eye on both his new team’s 2020 preparations and the upcoming World Superbike season, Toseland is predicting one of the most competitive seasons in recent years.

“It is going to be one hell of a year,” Toseland told WorldSBK.com “To get inside the top 10 of World Superbike this year is going to be really tough as you have two Ducatis in Chaz and Scott, the reigning five-time champion Jonny Rea and he is not going to get any slower this year.

“The Hondas too with Bautista and Haslam. I can see Honda has put in a massive, massive effort in and then you have the four Yamahas. I think I’ve reeled off eight names already so to beat those guys is going to be a really tough job this year.

“You’ve also got the crossover with the different nationalities, French, Turkish, British. It is feeling more like a full world championship now across four or five manufacturers. It is going to be really strong.”

Overlooking its pre-season testing at Portimao and even taking responsibility of Webb’s pit board, Toseland has helped put together an impressive package for Webb in World Supersport with a YART-prepared Yamaha R6 run by WRP Wepol Racing. While targets in terms of results remain measured, the 2004 and 2007 World Superbike champion is confident Webb has “everything he needs to be competitive”.

“It looks like if you are not on an R6 it is very difficult for you, so luckily for the new team we’ve put together WRP Wepol Racing, who have gone through YART, who have been in motorcycle racing and in this paddock for many years,” he said.

“Danny has never been to Portimao and out of the 14 races I think there is Portimao, Imola and Argentina that he has not done before. So to compete against the best in the world and to come to a new track that you don’t know that everybody else does at this level is so tough so we have come here for him to learn this one.

“He has had a great day and he was within two seconds of the best in the world in Supersport that also have a lot of experience around here. I am really, really looking forward to it.”

Webb ended the final day of the Portimao test with a best lap of 1m 47.073s, 2.7s off World Supersport leader Jules Cluzel having completed 53 laps on Monday.

 

Comments

Loading Comments...