Two-time World Superbike Champion James Toseland has announced his retirement from the sport, the 31-year-old Brit unable to recover from the wrist injury he suffered during testing back in March.
Toseland suffered the injury during a test in Spain in March, attempted to race at Miller Motorsports Park in May but was forced to withdraw. He then raced in front of his home fans at Silverstone and was back in action again last weekend at the Nurburgring in Germany where he crashed out of the wet second race in what was his 201st World Superbike race. Now he's decided to hang up his leathers after consulting with doctors and being told he will never have enough movement in his right wrist to be competitive.
Toseland was World Superbike Champion in 2004 on a Ducati and he went on to win the title again three years later a Ten Kate Honda. In 2008, Toseland went to MotoGP, but was dropped two years later and returned to the series where he'd previously been successful - World Superbike - in 2010 on factory Yamahas. He was replaced there this year by Marco Melandri and Eugene Laverty and was picked up by the BMW Motorrad Italia team, but he was injured before even getting started.
Toseland announced his retirement today on his official website.
"As you all know, I've had a tough time since injuring my right wrist during a testing crash at Aragon in Spain earlier this year," Toseland said. "At the time of first seeing my consultant, he warned that the damage to my wrist could be career-threatening, but we both committed to doing everything we could to ensure that I could continue racing. 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 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 World Superbike that a young, talented rider who is fully fit could take better advantage of."