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.

Voices
voices
News
general electionThis quiz matches undecided voters with the best party for them
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen starred in the big screen adaptation of Austen's novel in 2005
tvStar says studios are forcing actors to get buff for period roles
News
Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge show their newly-born daughter, their second child, to the media outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in central London, on 2 May 2015.
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Recruitment Consultant / Account Manager - Surrey / SW London

£40000 per annum + realistic targets: Ashdown Group: A thriving recruitment co...

Ashdown Group: Part-time Payroll Officer - Yorkshire - Professional Services

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful professional services firm is lo...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before