Roberts hails influence of ‘great’ racer

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BBC MotorGP presenter Matthew Roberts has paid tribute to two-time world superbike champion James Toseland, describing the South Yorkshire ace as a “great ambassador” for the sport.

Toseland, who was born in Doncaster and brought up in Kiveton Park, Rotherham, was forced to call it a day yesterday after failing to recover from a wrist injury he sustained during a crash at Aragon, Spain, in March.

The 31-year-old was told he could not continue after a visit to surgeon Mike Hayton.

Roberts said he was “absolutely gutted” when he heard the news of Toseland’s retirement, saying: “He has been a great ambassador for motorcycle racing and certainly helped expand the sport’s appeal beyond the typical boundaries.”

“I’ve tried everything possible but the sad truth is that none of it has worked,” he said. “My wrist will never fully heal enough for me to operate the throttle properly and navigate right-hand turns.”

Toseland became the youngest ever world superbike champion, aged 23, when he won the title in 2004 with Ducati. He repeated the feat with Ten Kate Honda three years later.itty