Sheffield Superbike king James Toseland opens up about his divorce from singer-songwriter Katie Melua
It was a case of "two worlds colliding," and a difficult relationship to get right because of outside commitments across the globe, he said
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Sheffield's double world champion racer James Toseland has spoken for the first time about his divorce from singer-songwriter Katie Melua.
The former Superbike king, whose lifelong love of motorcycle sport began when he lived in Kiveton Park, decided to talk about the break-up of their relationship while making clear that the split had been a cordial one.
James - the youngest ever world champion at 23 - also revealed that he faces an EIGHTH operation on his wrist, an injury which brought a premature end to his track career.
The former Wales High School pupil also revealed there had been criticism of the way previous surgeries had left him in pain and with little movement in his wrist.
Toseland who is now a 43-year-old TV pundit and broadcaster, decided to tell all on a recent MotoGP webcast.
Divorce was 'amicable'
Discussing his divorce in 2020, he said: "I don't think I have talked about this to anyone really.
"I am a single man, me and Kate, we divorced three years ago.
"It was amicable - we sat down and we saw our crazy lives of me being an ex-racer and getting over not having my career any more and her with her successful music career."
It was a case of "two worlds colliding," and a difficult relationship to get right because of outside commitments across the globe, he added
The MotoGP calendar can mean absence from home for seven months of the year and the "hurdles" of their lifestyles were just too many and various to overcome.
He said the couple - who wed in the Nash Conservatory at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, London in 2012 - discussed living apart and "keep carving out the paths that we both wanted to - with the intensity that we wanted to - it was too selfish to do it together."
The former rider was unsparing in his praise for Katie (39) once the biggest-selling UK-based female artist in the world.
"Katie is a wonderful, successful, and talented lady and I had a wonderful eight-year marriage to her and I will forever praise her.
"She is a mum now...I was really happy," he said about the birth of her son, Sandro, last December.
James suffered a career-ending, wrist injury at the age of 30 at a World Superbike Championship testing session at Motorland Aragon, Spain.
The South Yorkshireman says a surgeon in Austin, Texas had studied x-rays of his wrist and claimed that "the work that had been done was a shambles, which was heartbreaking after seven operations in 11 years."
He has been trying to get movement back in the joint and reduce the pain, he told the web show.
"The pain in the wrist has been really life-effecting, as well as all the medication and the side effects," he said.
An operation in the States had been booked for last month, but work commitments got in the way.
The American doctor, Toseland says: "Can give me 40 or 50 per cent movement back, with a new procedure that they don't do here."
The one-time champion admitted he had to "take a deep breath and consider whether to go through the long gruelling rehabilitation process, again."
Eventually, he scheduled a pre-Christmas date for an operation in December.
He said that had he got movement back in his wrist five years ago, he would have considered a comeback...but that was not going to happen now.