De Angelis To Take Toseland's Place At Tech 3?

With the future of Ben Spies now apparently settled - though the English-language journalists continue to debate the exact meaning of the word "foresee", and whether it allows for Spies to move to MotoGP earlier than 2011 - half the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha team seems to be settled, as Colin Edwards looks certain to keep his seat in the team, especially given the outstanding results he has posted this season. The fate of James Toseland, however, looks a good deal less certain, with team boss Herve Poncharal stopping short of expressing outright criticism of the British rider, but pointing out that Toseland's results have been disappointing, both for Toseland himself and for the team. It is widely accepted that Toseland is likely to remain in MotoGP - the BBC's multi-year multi-million dollar deal with series organizer Dorna would seem to demand that a British rider be in the series - but that does not mean that JT needs to stay at Tech 3.

Indeed, it seems as if that battle has already been fought, and Toseland has lost. The usually well-informed Spanish website Motocuatro.com is reporting that not Toseland, but Alex de Angelis will be riding for Monster Tech 3 Yamaha next year. The deal would be for a single season, with Yamaha taking a look at both Edwards and De Angelis at the end of 2010, to decide who will make way for Ben Spies. De Angelis' run of excellent results since the Sachsenring are believed to have persuaded Yamaha to have given the man from San Marino a second chance to prove himself, and given the proven nature of the satellite Yamaha M1, that should be a challenge De Angelis is up to.

So far, of course, this is just a report, and no official statement has been forthcoming. The report could still turn out to be inaccurate, as previous reports had indicated that De Angelis had already signed a pre-contract with the Pramac Ducati team, though a Yamaha M1 is probably preferable to a Ducati Desmosedici. De Angelis also faces very stiff competition at the Tech 3 team, with Chris Vermeulen rumored to have offered his services for free to Poncharal, and Toni Elias, Randy de Puniet and James Toseland all named as possible candidates for the bike. Elias is unlikely to get the seat as the Spaniard is reportedly asking for too much money, while De Puniet is said to have asked for guarantees about the level of support he is to receive. Whether Herve Poncharal could honor those requests is unknown.

If De Angelis has signed for Monster Tech 3 Yamaha, where does this leave James Toseland? It is believed to be important for the BBC to have a British rider in MotoGP, but the value of having a British rider running round in 14th place has got to be doubtful, especially with the young British riders Bradley Smith, Scott Redding and Danny Webb making their way through the ranks, and likely to end up on MotoGP in the not too distant future. If Dorna does decide to keep Toseland - an objective achieved by the simple expedient of supplying additional funds to whichever team takes the Briton - the most likely destination will be either Pramac Ducati (though this would require the blessing of Ducati) or possibly the Hayate team, which is expected to run leased Yamaha engines in their existing chassis next season. This would allow Yamaha to keep a link to Toseland, who has been instrumental in marketing for both their musical department and their motorcycles.

If Toseland does leave - a prospect which the report in Motocuatro foresees - his most likely destination is the Ten Kate Honda team in World Superbikes. Both Ronald and Gerrit ten Kate have spoken fondly of Toseland, expressing their respect for the things Toseland did at the team. The Dutch cousins have made no secret of their desire to have the Yorkshireman back, should he return to World Superbikes, and with both Ryuichi Kiyonari and Carlos Checa posting disappointing results for the team, Toseland could easily slot back in at Ten Kate.

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Comments

As a British guy and a fan of JT - purely due to his skill, yes SKILL in WSB and his attitude to his work and fans (I've been gunning for him these last 2 years), it obviously ain't gonna work for him. Such a shame. I'm sure I'm not the only one who thinks that the Edwards mechanic swap was a big mistake. The fact that the Yamaha specialists were called in to help sort the setup out recently (and they did - sort of) means the JT / Garry Reinders combination has failed.

What does disturb me is the utter disrespect and almost hatred for JT that some "motoGP" site forums seem to have for the guy. I thought this behaviour belonged down the pub with football fans.

Good luck JT, MotoGP might not have suited you, but it will be fun watching him back in WSB against Spies and Haga. Of course the haters will say JT won't stand a chance against Elbowz, but I beg to differ... If he goes back to WSB he will be very, very hungry to prove a point, and he rode that Ten Kate Honda HARD in 2007!

Good luck JT...

Total votes: 61

I am a bit surprised that DeAngelis is the guy(if its true) to boot James. I would have guessed it would be Vermeulen or DePuniet based on press banter.

As for Toseland going back to WSBK I think its the best move for him. But I dont think that WSBK will be the cakewalk some think it is. The talent in WSBK is getting better all the time. And not just the top 3 guys either. Byrne, Rea, Haslam, Neukirchner, Biaggi etc. have all shown signs of real speed this year. If Vermeulen and Toseland do find their way back to WSBK next year it could make for some of the best racing around!

Total votes: 68

I understand the BBC and Dorna have money tied up together but the teams want the best riders and the fans want to see the best riders so if none of the guys deserving or worthy of a MotoGP ride are Brits then the corporate guys need to deal without having a Brit in MotoGP. It's almost as bass akwards as the notion of a terrorist being released for some BP oil deal. Personally I think a guy like Haslam, Rea, or Bryne would be a better Brit representative in MotoGP than Toseland. JT buried himself by what happened between himself and Edwards.

Total votes: 77

"Personally I think a guy like Haslam, Rea, or Bryne would be a better Brit representative in MotoGP than Toseland."

Why? JT is 2 times WSB champion, why would they fare any better? He beat Haga (and the great Troy Baylis) on a Ten Kate Honda. Haslam, Rea (on the bike JT rode) and Byrne haven't come close to achieving that, so why would they be better in MotoGP? Please explain!

Total votes: 66

Haslam & Rea are 2 years older, faster & more experienced....

On the other hand the whole notion of a "British seat" is an affrontery to we the fans & the sport. Next we'll have a race which no one attends in the middle east because they can pay enough...oops.

Total votes: 67

Well for one anyone who is not a Brit would likely have a hard time being a JT fan of any kind. Rea, Haslam, or Bryne would be riders I as a non-Brit actually wouldn't mind see doing good. As far as actual racing goes JT he has never won a race, never got podium in a race, and got DQed at Laguna Seca like an idiot. He's proven himself to consistently be a average at best MotoGP rider so why would Brits want to settle for that when at least the other three guys mentioned are fresh faces and have a chance to do something at some point. On top of that if JT does go back to WSBK he isn't likely to win there either imo.

Total votes: 64

First off, as a British guy, I am not a JT hater but I can't wait to see the back of him. He is a national embarrassment and that's not necessarily his fault. Perhaps people overseas don't suffer as we do because every broadcast from the BBC has the obligatory talk-up JT's chances for every qualifying session and every race and every write up on the BBC website. It's got well past a joke now. There's toe-curlingly embarrassing interviews, excuses and plain outlandish hyperbole about JT.

JT is a fine motor bike racer. That's a given. But he just cannot, has not, cut it in MotoGP. Sad, but true.

Total votes: 66

That's a little harsh, isn't it? -- "national embarrassment". Judging from the web site content (it's probably worse when you have to watch/listen to it), the BBC are obnoxious 'homers' -- they really pump British athletes, regardless of their actual standing or realistic potential. If they do the same to Toseland, it's not really his fault.

Total votes: 71

If true, it's surprising.

Not to run this into the ground, and De Angelis is only in his 2nd MotoGP season, but Vermeulen has also out-performed him during this time, scoring 205 pts and 2 podiums to De Angelis' 151 pts and 1 podium (last week). Vermeulen also had a better rookie season: 98 pts/11th (2006) to 63 pts/14th (2008). Caveat: in this case, Vermeulen has been on a factory bike (albeit seemingly the worst/slowest on the grid), and De Angelis on a satellite Honda.

If the rumor that Vermeulen offered to ride a Tech 3 Yamaha for free is true (??), then you have to wonder how he's feeling. But obviously Vermeulen has not really distinguished himself in MotoGP (this will be his fourth full season), and if he is not there next year it should not come as a big surprise, even to him.

Total votes: 67

This rumor just got more interesting ... Spoiler removed by admin, but check out the race incident from Misano.

Total votes: 89

Thanks for for your SPOILER comment. I was carefully reading the news and avoiding any race results as I'm not able to watch it live, but now I know more than I want to. Maybe you can edit your comment so that others won't suffer the same fate.

Total votes: 71

It's not possible for me to edit the comment. Perhaps because you have replied to it? I can edit the other two comments -- they have no reply.

Anyway, if the Admin wants to remove the 'spoiler' comment it's OK with me.

Total votes: 67

It's OK, dude. I guess I should have said "avoid hearing about anything that happened in the race," rather than "race results."

Total votes: 59