Double WorldSBK champion James Toseland returns as team manager

Two-time champion James Toseland returns to the 2020 WorldSBK paddock in a WorldSSP team manager role; Danny Webb to ride WRP Yamaha

James Toseland

Two-time WorldSBK Champion James Toseland has confirmed he will return to the international paddock in a team managerial role for a Yamaha WorldSSP entry with Danny Webb on riding duties.

The Briton is one of the most successful Superbike riders of all time with title wins in 2004 for Ducati and in 2007 as a Honda rider. He is one of only two riders to have secured more than one championship with different manufacturers, the other being Troy Corser.

However, he would go on to be dogged by injury after stepping up to the MotoGP World Championship in 2008, Toseland calling time on his racing career in 2011 and focusing on his eponymous rock band.

However, after eight years out of the limelight, Toseland has now confirmed he will be back in the heart of the WorldSBK paddock next year as team manager of the newly formed WRP Yamaha team.

The deal also signals a return of sorts for Webb, who – after several years in the 125/Moto3 class – has focused more on road racing in recent years. He does have starts in WorldSSP too, but not since 2013.

James Toseland makes welcome return to motorsport

Though he’s been a regular spectator and pundit in the years since he quit racing, Toseland has nonetheless maintained a relatively low profile and made little indication he is planning to return in some capacity.

However, having put his band plans on hold, Toseland – still only 39 – could become the latest rider-turned-manager success story that can be seen across the motorcycle racing paddock, from Pere Riba to Davide Tardozzi to Alberto Puig.

It’s a welcome return for one of WorldSBK’s key figures during the 2000s and could pave the way for growth into Superbikes going forward. Moreover, Webb brings a combination of youth and experience to the outfit as he moves back to a circuit racing focus.

The WRP team will use a Yamaha R6 as developed by the Yamaha Austria Racing Team (YART).