Ducati Fila’s James Toseland goes into Sunday’s World Superbike round at Phillip Island with a 12-point lead, but his team-mate, Regis Laconi, is smarting after two non-finishes in Valencia.
Ducati Fila’s James Toseland goes into Sunday’s World Superbike round at Phillip Island with a twelve-point lead, but his team-mate Regis Laconi is smarting after two non-finishes in Valencia.
Toseland, 23, crashed out in January’s pre-season testing at the Australian circuit, but returns to the Island brimming with confidence following a win and a second place in Spain.
"I love everything about racing at Phillip Island – the circuit is picturesque, fast and exciting, and it is a real riders’ track," Toseland said this week, "I especially like the fast bit through Haystacks but, after my crash in January’s test, I would say the worst part is between Honda hairpin and Siberia, where they really ought to put some softer tarmac down!"
However, Toseland hasn’t had great results at Phillip Island in his three appearances at the circuit… His best performance was a fifth place last year.
"I was battling for third in race one, but then my fairing fell off and I was black-flagged!" he explained, "The main thing about Phillip Island is that you need to set up the bike different to all the other tracks – but you’ve really got to be smooth round here. The last two lefts are critical because you can much time there."
By contrast, Laconi wants to put his nightmare start to the season behind him. The 28-year old Frenchman crashed out on a wet track surface in the first race at Valencia and then retired with a mechanical problem early in race two.
"I was not happy with the result at Valencia," Laconi said, "but I feel confident about the next round. I know I am quick – I was faster than everyone else in testing, practice and qualifying – so now I just want to get some racing under my belt, start off the season at Phillip Island, and take my first win of the year.