Toseland "Surprised" By Press Stories After Rossi WSBK Test

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'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

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on the statement that the Yamaha WSBK team learned more in a few hours than they had the whole year with JT and Cal. I'm not a JT fan nor a Cal fan but you can't tell me that with all the data of all the test, practices, and races that they learn more in a few sessions than all year. I mean really, how much could they have tested in that short of time? Having Val ride the bike probably caused a bit of hero worshipping and star gazing which lead to that statement. Or maybe they just wanted to piss the WSBK riders off?! lol. That the fact that Rossi made THE SAME POINTS should let everyone know how BS that statement was.

Like a previous poster, I went back and tried to find the source of the "...learned more in a few hours..." quote and came up empty. Makes me think that it's an urban legend spread by Rossi fans (I'm kidding). If anything, I'd have to agree with Drif10 that speaking Italian to Italian mechanics would be a bigger factor in the overall quality of the feedback.

A little star gazing may account for such bold statements..but the stopwatch doesn't lie.

It can't sit comfortably with the riders or indeed the team, that a guy with a broken leg who hasn't ridden the bike on those tyres before, comes in and within 46 laps is faster?

I wonder if we'll see an improvement at Silverstone..see if the tyres last out with new 'Rossi' set up..?

I'd say most of the SBK guys know MotoGP is a different league and so are the riders (and maybe some dream of one day being among them). And I'd say they are not surprised that a 9 time world champion takes off right away, even with a broken (allthough by then partly healed) leg.

It's true, Rossi did set some fast times. But I wouldn't lean too much on that broken leg angle. A week after that last test, Valentino was scraping it out for a 3rd place finish in MotoGP. I'm sure you knew that already, though.

Also, there is a good reason why JT was on a satellite team during his stay at MotoGP. It wasn't because Rossi has more experience. Valentino Rossi (as well as several of the MotoGP riders) are absolutely stunning racers. The best of the best. JT and Cal don't have anything to be ashamed about. They just aren't as good as VR.

That being said, are there more capable riders than the current Sterigarda Yamaha line-up? Hard to say.

Maybe Rossi is more accomplished at telling engineers exactly what the problem is than either Toseland or Crutchlow. He has much more experience than either of the current WSB team and beingItalian was able to communicate better with the Yamaha Italia team at his test.

I read elsewhere that Rossi recommended drastic chassis geometry changes duringt eh Brno test whereas the team had previously been trying to sort their issues with mapping and electronics?

Perhaps it comes down simply to translation. An italian speaking to a spanish journo posted in a britsih site.

I would think that an experienced racer such as VR validating what JT was telling them is what was happening.

Let's face it: Rossi's word carries much more weight with the Yamaha enginooers than anyone else.

The fact that VR went faster than Biaggi, who just won the race, must be giving Max heartburn still. :D

I read the quote from a one of yam's superbike techs/Mechs after the test (I can't remember where). That they (yams superbike team) had indeed learned more from Rossi during the test than from there riders.

That not withstanding the rest of the points here are very valid! I think a mechanic could tune out complaints of Toseland and Cal as bitching - but one could imagine that it would be very difficult to do the same from the doctor! At any rate there's no question that Rossi knows how to develop and set up a bike.

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I believe Toseland wouldn't make such a request. First of all, it's not Toseland's bike; he's paid to ride it. It's Yamaha's bike and they'll have whoever they want ride it if they feel they can get feedback that will be beneficial to the team and company. Secondly, it wouldn't surprise me if Rossi was able to dial in on the bike and offer new insight. The man has a lot of experience to draw from. I can't see Toseland requesting Val not ride HIS bike. That doesn't make sense to me.

"Faster, Faster, Until The Thrill of Speed Overcomes The Fear of Death." ~
Hunter S. Thompson

It is a known fact that VR and J Burgess are an amazing team, VR for having the ability of telling exactly what an engineer needs to know about feedback, and BJ knowing what to do with that info. Saying that because Rossi is italian and talking with italians on the team is an advantage is so silly, read a book or something, anyways, im not gonna get into it with this guy. Anybody that has any and i mean any knowledge of MotoGP would know that but then again... (9 Championships buddy).