James Toseland

James Toseland Announces Retirement, While Elias Gets To Test His BMW At Misano

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.

The decision is a wise but sad end to a checkered career, which saw the Yorkshireman win two World Superbike titles, becoming the youngest World Superbike champion ever in 2004 at the age of 23 aboard a factory Ducati, then repeating the feat in 2007 riding a Ten Kate Honda. Toseland's early career saw him racing 125s as a youngster, before moving up to the World Supersport class at just 17 years of age. Toseland switched back to the British Superbike series a couple of years' later, before returning to the world stage with the GSE Racing team. Several years as a WSBK front runner followed, culminating in his two WSBK titles.

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Barry Veneman To Replace James Toseland At Assen

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.

After not fielding a replacement for Toseland at Donington, the BMW Italia team have turned to former World Supersport veteran Barry Veneman to take Toseland's place at Assen. The Dutchman is no stranger to the World Superbike paddock, having contested the World Supersport championship on a Honda and a Suzuki between 2003 and 2009. He is also no stranger to the BMW S1000RR, campaigning the bike both last year and this year in the German IDM Superbike championship. Veneman has also been involved in the development program for BMW's World Superbike team, riding the S1000RR a number of times throughout 2010.

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James Toseland Breaks Wrist In Testing Crash At Aragon

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.

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More Tests Lost To The Weather: WSBK At A Wet Portimao, Moto2 At A Freezing Barcelona

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.

Despite that, the teams present went out and tested anyway, focusing instead on setup and working on known issues. At the end of the day, it was Ruben Xaus who got his name atop the timesheets on his very first outing on the Ten Kate Honda, finishing three tenths of a second ahead of BMW new boy Leon Haslam, and over a second ahead of his Ten Kate teammate Johnny Rea. Alstare Suzuki's Michel Fabrizio matched the pace of Rea, who was a couple of tenths quicker than BMW's Troy Corser. Two former factory riders on new machines - James Toseland on a BMW and Noriyuki Haga on an Aprilia - propped up the bottom of the timesheets, though the conditions leave the times being set devoid of meaning.

There was plenty to test, however, and Troy Corser even pointed out that testing in the wet can be extremely useful at isolating issues. Corser explained in the BMW press release: "Riding in the rain also helped us to tackle some of the problems we have in the dry. It is actually easier to get a feeling for the problems and to see them on the telemetry, because everything happens a bit slower, so the actual problem is a lot clearer."

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More Testing, More Rain: Wet Weather Washes Out Portimao WSBK Test

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.

Fastest man of the day was BMW's Leon Haslam, taking advantage of one of the few moments the track was dry to post a 1'52.1, with his teammate Troy Corser a couple of seconds off his pace in the dry.  Ten Kate Honda's Johnny Rea matched Haslam's fastest lap in wet conditions, posting a 1'56.9, with Ruben Xaus and Troy Corser just a couple of tenths behind him. But given that everyone was at least 10 seconds off lap record pace, few conclusions could be drawn from the test. At least Xaus got his first outing on the Ten Kate Honda, while James Toseland made his debut on the satellite BMW Italia S1000RR.

The riders will now have to wait and hope for better weather tomorrow. There is a chance that the second and final day of the test may be dry late in the afternoon, but as we have seen this off-season, there are no guarantees.

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Now It's Official: Toseland To BMW Italia Satellite Team

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.

The official press release appears below:

BMW Motorrad Italia enters Superbike World Championship.

The winning team of the 2010 Superstock 1000 FIM Cup will debut with riders Ayrton Badovini and James Toseland.

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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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WSBK Silly Season Update: Haga With Aprilia, Sykes With Kawasaki, Toseland To BMW, Biaggi To Retire?

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:

Noriyuki Haga
Nori has not been very "Nitro" at all this season, and his less-than-explosive form may have helped contribute to Ducati's decision to scrap the factory team, but despite that, Haga has found sanctuary with the newly assembled Pata Racing Team Aprilia. The team consists of the former DFX Corse squad, the CEO of Pata (the Italian snack company who funded Jakub Smrz this year), and Marco Borciani, who ran the Pata B&G team for Smrz. The team is to field a single Aprilia RSV4R for Haga, and many believe that a return to riding a four-cylinder bike is just what Haga needs. The Aprilia is clearly competitive, so Haga will be hoping for a better season in 2011.

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BMW Retains Corser In WSBK, Haslam And Toseland To Join Him?

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.

The press release also mentions that they are not yet ready to announce their second rider, although it is certain that Spaniard Ruben Xaus will lose his seat with the Munich factory. Xaus has been very disappointing in 2010, after a big crash at the first round in Australia got his season off to a terrible start. In his place, the names of Sterilgarda Yamaha rider James Toseland and current Alstare Suzuki rider Leon Haslam are doing the rounds. Toseland's boss Roger Burnett has been insisting for quite some time now that Toseland is close to inking a deal with the German factory, though reports have also linked Toseland to a return to the Ten Kate Honda team for 2011, alongside Johnny Rea - if Ten Kate field a two-man team for next season.

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