The news may be a few days' old, but it is worth noting nonetheless: James Toseland has announced that he is to retire from racing motorcycles altogether. In a statement on his official website, Toseland told his fans that the wrist injury he had sustained while testing at Aragon back in March had not healed as he had hoped, and the fall at the last round of World Superbikes at the Nurburgring had exacerbated the injury, meaning it was no longer safe for him to continue racing. As a result, he had been reluctantly forced to admit defeat and retire from professional motorcycle racing.
James Toseland has had a difficult start to the 2011 World Superbike season. The BMW Italia rider broke his wrist after just one round of the 2011 season, after falling at a test session at the Motorland Aragon track. Toseland underwent emergency surgery to correct the problem immediately afterwards, but the crash meant that the double World Superbike champion was forced to miss both his home round at Donington Park 10 days ago, as well as the Assen round on April 17th.
James Toseland has suffered a further setback to his 2011 World Superbike season, as the BMW Italia rider crashed and fractured a wrist during testing at the Motorland Aragon circuit. After examination by doctors in Spain, Toseland was told his wrist injury was not serious, but the pain in his wrist increased after returning to his hotel. On the flight back home, bloodflow to the bones in his wrist ceased, making the situation even worse.
On his return from Spain, Toseland was immediately seen by a specialist in Manchester, where they spotted displaced bones in his wrist. Toseland then underwent immediate surgery to fix the problem, but the injury leaves Toseland sidelined for at least six weeks. This means that Toseland will miss both the second World Superbike round of the season at Donington Park next weekend, and the following race at Assen three weeks later. Toseland hopes to make his return to racing a Monza, on May 8th.
Reports of testing are starting to sound increasingly like a broken record, with weather being a constant factor preventing the teams from testing properly. The second day of testing for a small group of World Superbike riders at Portimao turned into another washout, with heavy rain and cold temperatures wracking the Portuguese coast.
The wet weather continues to thwart any attempts at testing racing motorcycles. After the Moto2 test at Jerez was largely lost to rain, the first day of testing for a large part of the World Superbike paddock at Portimao suffered a similarly damp fate. With rain falling nearly all day, the assembled riders barely got out onto the track, posting just a few laps before heading back into the pits.
After the unofficial confirmation by Toseland himself at a charity event in the UK, comes the official confirmation from the BMW Italia team. James Toseland is to race alongside 2010 Superstock 1000 champion Ayrton Badovini in the satellite BMW Italia squad for 2011. The BMW Italia squad dominated the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup this season, and the operation is widely regarded as extremely effective.
The team is to be very much a satellite effort, rather than a privateer outfit, with BMW Italia receiving engine and electronics support from the BMW Motorrad factory squad. With Badovini having dominated the Superstock class, there is no doubting the Italian's ability, and Toseland's long and varied experience should help the squad. After losing his factory ride with the Sterilgarda Yamaha team, the BMW Italia ride is a strong alternative for Toseland.
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.
After the final World Superbike round of the 2010 season, news has inevitably started to filter out of Magny-Cours about the shape of 2011. There were official announcements, cryptic hints and barroom gossip concerning who will be doing what for next year in World Superbikes and World Supersport. A round up of the latest rumors is given below:
With the MotoGP silly season more or less played out, and the World Superbike season winding to a close, the seats in World Superbikes are starting to be sorted out. The latest news comes from BMW, who today officially announced that they will be retaining their seasoned veteran Troy Corser for 2011. The announcement comes as no surprise, as the Australian former world champion has been instrumental in developing the brand new German Superbike over the past couple of years, and Corser continues to be motivated to ride at this level, despite being nearly 39 years of age.