Motorcycling: Toseland in defiant mood after setting day's fastest lap
Saturday 06 October 2007
The British challenger James Toseland celebrated his 27th birthday yesterday by setting the fastest lap of the day at the Magny-Cours circuit in France in preparation for tomorrow's decisive final round of the World Superbike Championship.
Toseland, who leads the series by 29 points, lapped in 1 minute 40.718 seconds on his Hannspree Ten Kate Honda in the morning's practice session. Riders would normally have gone quicker in the afternoon qualifying period, but rain early in that session made conditions difficult, and the Italian Lorenzo Lanzi (Xerox Ducati) was fastest, nearly two-10ths slower than Toseland's earlier time. Toseland finished seventh best in qualifying, and was not worried by the third placing of his title rival Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha Italia).
"Conditions in qualifying were not good enough to match the morning practice, but I'm happy with the way things have gone," Toseland said.
He has seen his lead tumble from 66 points after his double victory at Brands Hatch in August after two difficult rounds in Germany and Italy.
But he is refusing to ride defensively, even though with 50 points available from tomorrow's two races both Haga and the Italian Max Biaggi (Corona Alstare Suzuki) could steal the title from him.
"I don't want to get into all the permutations about how I can win the title," he said. "It's not my style to ride tactically. I'm a racer and I'm going out to win."
Toseland has already signed to step up to the Yamaha Tech 3 team in MotoGP in 2008, and desperately needs to enter motorcycle racing's premier series as the superbike king rather than as the rider who let a huge lead slip away. He may be heartened by the fact that Biaggi did not get to grips with conditions yesterday, finishing only 14th fastest in the morning and 13th best in qualifying.
World Superbikes Championship (Round 13, Magny-Cours): Leading positions after first qualifying: 1 L Lanzi (It) Ducati 1min 40.962secs, 2 T Bayliss (Aus) Ducati 1:41.334, 3 N Haga (Japan) Yamaha 1:41.402, 4 F Nieto (Sp) Kawasaki 1:41.423, 5 T Corser (Aus) Yamaha 1:41.425, 6 R Xaus (Sp) Ducati 1:41.731, 7 J Toseland (GB) Honda 1:41.742, 8 R Laconi (Fr) Kawasaki 1:41.840, 9 K Muggeridge (Aus) Honda 1:42.012, 10 M Fabrizio (It) Honda 1:42.136, 11 R Rolfo (Ita) Honda 1:42.147, 12 J Smrz (Cz) Ducati 1:42.376, 13 M Neukirchner (Ger) Suzuki 1:42.397, 14 M Biaggi (It) Suzuki 1:42.620, 15 Y Tiberio (Fr) Honda 1:43.132
Nicolas Otamendi to Manchester United: Club 'agree to sign' £36m-rated centre-back
Paul Scholes on Raheem Sterling: Moving between Liverpool and Manchester United still an issue
Paul Scholes: I'm sticking my neck out - Hull to win and Newcastle to be relegated on final day
Premier League 2015/16 kits: Confirmed and rumoured strips from Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and others
Gareth Bale 'wants to quit Real Madrid' and Manchester United are waiting with €120m offer
- 1 JK Rowling horrified by Harry Potter actor Matthew Lewis's raunchy photoshoot
- 2 As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
- 3 Saudi Arabia 'seeking to head United Nations Human Rights Council'
- 4 Georgia Army veteran arrested for breaking window to save dog has charges dropped
- 5 New Zealand 'the best country to work as a prostitute', says sex worker advocacy group
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
Labour leadership: Battle lines are drawn as members battle over party's ideology at first hustings of the contest
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland