James Toseland has been forced to retire from motorcycle racing as a result of the wrist injury that has affected him throughout the season. The Yorkshireman has been battling with the injury since crashing in a test session at Aragon back in March, and after a meeting with his consultant Mike Hayton, has been advised to hang up his helmet.
It brings to an end a memorable career which saw him compete at the highest level of two-wheeled motorsport. The Briton won his first World Superbike crown in 2004 by seeing off Fila Ducati teammate Regis Laconi at the final round in Magny Cours before regaining the title in another last race showdown in 2007, beating Noriyuki Haga by two points.
Speaking on his official website, Toseland admitted that there was always a fear that the injury could be career threatening but had hoped to continue as long as possible.
“Having struggled through a couple of races and then crashing out in the terrible conditions at Nurburgring in Germany, I went back to see the Consultant, Mike Hayton, this week and the diagnosis was the worst I could have prepared myself for.”
“The easiest way to explain it is that I don't have enough range of movement in my wrist to race professionally and no amount of physiotherapy is going to improve that. This all led to the verdict was that it's no longer safe for me to continue a career in motorcycle racing.”
“I have to put the safety of the other riders on track first, as well as thinking about my own safety. Knowing that I will never again be fully fit to race at the highest level, it's also unfair for me to occupy a great seat in WSBK that a young, talented rider who is fully fit could take better advantage of.”
“Obviously, the decision has been a difficult one and it's been really hard to take the advice of my Consultant and admit defeat on this occasion but I really have no other option left at this stage. I've tried everything possible for the last few months but the sad truth is that none of it has worked and my wrist will never fully heal enough for me to operate the throttle properly and navigate right hand turns.”
Toseland also had a final message for his supporters who have stuck with him since his debut in World Supersport in 1998.
“You have been amazing in the best and worst times of my career and it's been almost like having a second family to support me through my career. So, thank you for everything and I hope that I have done you proud.”
Toseland Career Stats:
|2011||World Superbike Championship||BMW||0||0||0||13 (22nd)|
|2010||World Superbike Championship||Yamaha||0||0||0||187 (9th)|
|2007||World Superbike Championship||Honda||8||2||1||415 (Champion)|
|2006||World Superbike Championship||Honda||3||1||1||336 (2nd)|
|2005||World Superbike Championship||Ducati||1||0||0||254 (4th)|
|2004||World Superbike Championship||Ducati||3||0||0||336 (Champion)|
|2003||World Superbike Championship||Ducati||1||1||0||271 (3rd)|
|2002||World Superbike Championship||Ducati||0||0||0||195 (7th)|
|2001||World Superbike Championship||Ducati||0||0||0||91 (13th)|
|2000||British Superbike Championship||Honda||0||0||0||101 (12th)|
|1999||World Supersport Championship||Honda||0||0||0||59 (11th)|
|1998||World Supersport Championship||Honda||0||0||0||18 (19th)|