James Toseland Confirmed With Satellite BMW World Superbike Squad

With the 2010 season already over, the 2011 World Superbike grid is gradually starting to take shape, with most of the seats filled, despite a host of riders involved in WSBK's version of musical chairs. One name who appeared to have been left standing as the music started to wind down was double WSBK champion James Toseland. The British rider had returned to World Superbikes this season from MotoGP with the factory Sterilgarda Yamaha squad, but Toseland had not adapted fast enough to WSBK to retain his seat for next season, and was looking to be out of a job for 2011.

No longer, it seems. As we reported earlier, Toseland appears to be destined for the brand new BMW Italia team, a satellite BMW squad due to join the grid for next year. According to Bikesportnews.com, Toseland confirmed the deal at the David Jeffries Awards dinner, where he appeared in his capacity as piano player, telling people attendees that he will be lining up alongside Italian rider Ayrton Badovini aboard a BMW S1000RR for 2011. An official announcement is expected very soon, and Toseland expects to start testing next month.

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I hope James can overcome whatever gremlins that have beset him the last few years and get back to his best form.

He has the talent, it is just a matter of will and confidence I think.

...as far as professional motorcycle racing goes.

I wonder if he really does have the ability to compete today...?

Anyway, a guy with a lot of talent and charisma generally -- anyone who followed MotoGP at all when he was there knows this. I was sorry to see him leave, although given his level it was obvious for a good while that he would. Thought he definitely added something to the paddock.

I wish him success in all of his endeavors.

I only hope that this will allow him to find his feet again, although being in a satellite BMW team it may be a huge ask, something to which Andrew Pitt can attest. He showed at times last season his pace but setup tribulations and dropping it whilst advancing through the field didn't help in the final standings.

Best of luck to him.

Great news for the grid.At one point it was shaping up to look as dismal as the MotoGP grid.Also good to see that JT has a decent ride and that Ayrton Badovini is in the big league.How it pans out for them next year remains to be seen.
Yes,JT has seemed to be on a downward spiral and perhaps this is what he needs to bounce back.Having been knocked out of GP,returning to SBK in Spies' boots would have played confidence tricks with anyone's mind.Heat is off,let's see how he does.Somehow think he may do better on the BMW over the length of a season than Ruben did.Badovini's experience with the bike can be a great help.
Just don't steal his crew chief James.

"He should just stick to the Piano.........he's better at that than racing anymore" ... Pretty silly comment. Toseland is an extremely fast rider - even if he's not 100% confident at the moment.

Not silly at all. Toseland hasn't been fast for 3 years now. How much longer are we going to consider him an elite rider? It was funny seeing him in Indy this year. There to play the piano for his band. Not to race. Well, one thing he's got going for him, his gf is super hot. Anyways, this BMW ride will likely be his last chance to prove he still has it.

He's only had 4 podiums this year. He only has 2 world championships. He only had one horribly disappointing year in MotoGP. I think all the Spies fans should be coming to Toseland's defense reminding everyone how horribly difficult the R1 is to ride and how the Tech3 M1 is an uncompetitive nail. But all I hear is how this guy should hang up his leathers as there's no way he'll ever be competitive. I don't know if he deserves to be in a better slot than where he's landed, but he's 30 so i think he's got a lot of racing left in him if he wants it.

I think it was Biaggi's comment earlier this year that Toseland doesn't seem to carry the corner speeds requisite these days in WSBK. which is a little odd after coming out of MotoGP and off the 'Stones. But the Pirelli's have progressed and corner speed is King once more in WSBK as opposed to Toselands old school sliding. A skill he was certainly a master of.

The Piano comments are nonsense and made by petty people. Is is actually possible for a individual to indulge both talents. Not that James' focus has ever been anything less than 100% on his racing.

Yes, it does seem to be his last chance in the big time though. James need to find the missing factor in his riding. Being shown up by Crutchlow this year was a big blow.

>>Not that James' focus has ever been anything less than 100% on his racing.

Didn't he play with his band at a couple of GP race weekends he raced in? I thought that was a bit of a dumb move but nobody seemed to mind. Even at the club level I race in free time on a race weekend is a missing luxury. At his level you need to have 1000% focus on racing.

He's definitely got speed, he just has to remember where he last left it, but drop the piano playing at the track and spend the time analyzing your riding/data.


JT is surely struggling, and it shows. From being on top of the world to a low that he is at surely is taking its toll. It happens to a lot of great athletes but how they react is what makes them good to great to top of there game. Rossi struggled this year for 3 races, and he has found his mojo. JT lost confidence and is now trying to find his way through.

Spies is amazing, and he is young and full of confidence and he rang its neck (the R1). It make JT look sad, plus times this yr are faster than last yr JT's times are comparable to times spies put down, the other guys prgressed well the R1 did not. And frankly CC and JT apparently can't develop the bike as well as spies did.

Just my .02. IMO this is a make or break season for JT if it is a break year he'll be in BSB like Hopper is in AMA. Not a terrible thing to most people but to a former GP star it could be considered devastating.

Both Cal and James knew or should have known that by signing onto the Yamaha WSBK team they would be immediately measured directly against the standard set by Spies from the previous year, exactly in the same manner that Sykes had been.

Fair or not, that was the environment that they were entering and both should have been fully cognisant of that.

Do I think the competition has improved since James' last title?

Do I think electronics have come a long way since?

Do I think this has helped more people run more consistently fast laps than in previous years?

Does any of that matter in the end?

This is the identical situation that Sykes faced last year to be perfectly honest. Fair or not anyone who goes to that team to ride that bike will be measured against Spies' legacy, plain and simple.

I am surprised at people still comparing Toseland (a good man) with Spies.

It's pretty obvious that Spies has performed to the point where he should be compared with the so called "aliens". There a lot of people that don't measure up to Spies - not just James. Also, just because Cal is now on a Yamaha is no reason to expect him to have similar results to Spies. Please, give him a break as well.

It serves no purpose to drag everyone but one's own favorite racer down. All these WSBK and MotoGP racers are worthy competitors.

Finally, since when is it a bad thing to be multi talented?

Finally, since when is it a bad thing to be multi talented?

It isn't and don't let anyone tell you different. God if I could play the piano to that standard I don't think I would have ever gotten married for practical reasons lol.

James is a talented man any way you slice it.