Toseland looked capable of a top ten challenge as he shadowed Randy de Puniet and Mika Kallio in the early stages, but the 28 year-old Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider’s night took a turn for the worse when he ran off into the gravel trap at the final corner on lap seven after a tangle with Toni Elias.
Although he got back on track and did his best to fight for a point-scoring finish, memories of his Donington 2008 nightmare may have rushed through his head as he ultimately came home in 16th spot.
Although this was just the first race of 2009 Toseland has already had a tough time this year, with big crashes in testing in Malaysia and Jerez hampering his preseason preparations and a fall-out with team-mate Colin Edwards - who was fourth at Qatar on Monday - over a winter crew chief swap.
Reflecting on the first GP of the season, Toseland said, “It has been a difficult weekend to say the least and I know we have got a long way to catch up. This race was almost like a test for me, and like in testing, I didn't have a lot of luck out there. I felt like I could fight for the top ten but Toni Elias came up the inside of me at the final corner as I was closing on Randy de Puniet and Mika Kallio. He touched me and I went off into the gravel and that left me out of the points unfortunately.”
The tough Briton will need all his resilience to bounce back at round two at Motegi and tried to remain positive as he remarked, “I just need time on the bike and a bit of luck to go my way. My guys have put in a lot of effort this weekend and I'm confident I can get a good result in Japan for the team.”