Motorcycling: Toseland's brilliant comeback breaks up the battle of Troys

James Toseland claimed two podium positions in the second round of the World Superbike Championship in Australia yesterday to maintain pressure on the series leader Troy Bayliss.

The Yorkshireman finished third in the first race on his Winston Ten Kate Honda, and improved to second place in his second outing. He has now scored 74 points from four races, and is only one point behind Xerox Ducati's Bayliss in the championship table.

"In race two I kept getting a 'plus zero' on my pit board, because Troy was right behind," Toseland said. "I didn't make a mistake, but he just out-braked me into the hairpin and then pulled away. But I'm happy - we had a good, consistent weekend again, and we're pushing them hard."

Toseland has made a much stronger start to the season than his rivals could have predicted, after losing his factory Ducati ride last year and joining the private Ten Kate team, of the Netherlands.

Australia's two Troys - Bayliss and Corser - were expected to dominate the Superbike series after testing strongly during the winter. But Toseland has quickly adjusted to the four-cylinder Honda after several seasons on the twin-cylinder Ducati, and could be poised to regain the world title that he first claimed in 2004.

In Spain, for nearly 20 glorious minutes yesterday, Britain's James Ellison experienced what it feels like to ride faster than Valentino Rossi. Ellison, 25, led the world's greatest MotoGP riders in the winter season's biggest practice session on a wet Catalunya circuit near Barcelona.

He impressed his new boss, the Frenchman Hervé Poncharal, the owner of the Tech 3 team, as he splashed around the 2.9 miles of rain-soaked track on his 250-horsepower Yamaha M1.

Veteran MotoGP hands crashed: the former world champion Kenny Roberts, Suzuki's John Hopkins, Ellison's team-mate Carlos Checa. Even Rossi, seven times a world champion, went down when making an error under braking.

Ellison kept upright for 15 perilous laps, but it was Colin Edwards who finally won the BMW Z4 sports car - for the rider who set the fastest lap in the session - from fellow American Nicky Hayden and Rossi.

Ellison's fourth place impressed everyone, not least his Dunlop tyre engineers. "Now I feel part of the MotoGP championship," Ellison said after his soaking. "This has given me a real confidence boost, for riding in the dry as well as in the wet."

With six minutes remaining in the 40-minute session, Ellison put a final Dunlop tyre on the rear of his 990cc bike in an attempt to win the BMW. He cut his lap time to 1min 59.619sec, but Edwards slithered round the track 2.5sec faster on his Michelin-shod Camel Yamaha.

At least Ellison, from Kendal in Cumbria, now knows that he possesses the finesse and coolness of temperament to compete with the sport's best when the MotoGP season starts at the Jerez circuit in Spain on 26 March.

Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
Arts and Entertainment
Ricardo by Edward Sutcliffe, 2014
artPortraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb go on display
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Spanish Speaking

£17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - German Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Japanese Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are fluent in Japanese a...

Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer - Immediate Start

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'