On the eve of the British round of World Superbikes at Silverstone, and the first time the World Superbike paddock has reconvened after Valentino Rossi's tests on the WSBK bike at Misano and Brno, it was inevitable that the subject of Rossi on the R1 would be brought up. At the pre-race paddock show, James Toseland addressed the matter head on, in response to questions from GPOne.com's representative, Claudio Porrozzi.
Toseland had been upset by stories that had appeared in the media after the Misano test, stating that he had demanded that Rossi not be allowed to test his bike. "I was surprised by what I read," Toseland said, and went on to deny categorically that he had vetoed Rossi using his Sterilgarda Yamaha R1 to test. He was a Yamaha rider, Toseland affirmed, and so had no say in the matter as to who got to test his bike.
On the contrary, it was extremely helpful to have Rossi on the bike, as it meant that Rossi's feedback could be compared with Toseland's, to look for areas to improve the bike. What had been most satisfying for Toseland was the fact that the feedback from Rossi was exactly the same thing that Toseland had been telling the team, reinforcing his point. Earlier reports had suggested that the team had learned more from the few hours with Rossi than they had learned all year from current Sterilgarda Yamaha riders Toseland and Cal Crutchlow. However, perhaps having a nine-time World Champion on the motorcycle meant that the team were listening more carefully than usual.
Toseland did feel that there should be some kind of reciprocity in Rossi's testing of his R1. "Now I hope to have a chance to test Rossi's bike," Toseland told GPone.com.