James Toseland expressed his sadness at failing to achieve better results in MotoGP as he prepared to return to World Superbikes, but said he had done his utmost to succeed in the world championship.
The Briton joined Tech 3 Yamaha last year as a double WSBK champion, and made a strong start with second on the grid for his debut race and a series of top-six finishes in his rookie year. But his 2009 season proved disappointing from the outset, with big crashes in winter testing knocking him back before the championship had even begun. Toseland was outpaced by his teammate Colin Edwards all year, and was only 14th in the final standings, nine places behind Edwards.
"The team has done a great job for me for the last two years, and congratulations to Colin for getting the fifth place. But it's been a tough year," Toseland told Britain's BBC after finishing 12th in today's season finale at Valencia. "It's been an honor to represent my country in the elite class in motorcycling. It hasn't really gone as I wanted it to, but that's not down to lack of effort. I don't feel like I've failed because I've put in everything that I've got."
Toseland will now swap places with his Tech 3 replacement Ben Spies and take the American's place in Yamaha's works World Superbike team.
"I'm looking forward to my new challenge," said Toseland. "I'm still in the Yamaha group, and congratulations to Yamaha for winning everything this year – Motocross, World Supersport, Superbike and MotoGP. "It's been a great year for them and hopefully I can bring some success to them next year."