The World's Fastest Piano Player: Motorcycle Racer James Toseland At Home With 200 MPH And 88 Keys

Classically-Trained Pianist Rides for Tech 3 Yamaha Team on MotoGP Circuit and Plays Yamaha Keyboards; Band Will Perform July 19 at Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey

BUENA PARK, Calif. - When motorcycle racer James Toseland wants to unwind after pushing his Yamaha YZR-M1 bike to speeds up to 200 mph, he sits down at a Yamaha keyboard or piano and pounds out virtuosic classical, jazz or boogie-woogie riffs. Toseland, 28, classically-trained from the age of seven, plays music on his own and with Crash, his pop-rock cover band.

In his native England, he's treated like a rock star not just for his piano-playing prowess and his good looks, but because he is the only English rider on the MotoGP circuit, the pinnacle of motorcycle racing, which features the world's top racers and fastest bikes in 18 Grand Prix contests held in 14 countries from March to October.

In addition to competing in the first race of the circuit to be held in the United States this year, the Red Bull U. S. Grand Prix at Mazda Raceway, Laguna Seca, Calif., July 18-20, Toseland will also perform with his band on a professional sound stage at the track on July 19 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. PST.

"This event reflects the synergy between the different products made by Yamaha," said Rick Young, Senior Vice President, Yamaha Corporation of America. "It's a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate the company's philosophy of One Yamaha. James Toseland embodies the glamour of two worlds, the fearless motorcycle racer and the refined pianist."

The Yamaha Corporation of America, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Japan-based company that markets and distributes musical instruments and sound reinforcement equipment in the United States, will outfit Toseland and his band with a complete lineup of pro-quality gear, including an SBG2000 electric guitar, a CPX900 acoustic-electric guitar, a TRB1004 bass, a Recording Custom drum set with a Steve Gadd Signature snare drum, a CP33 stage piano and an MM8 synthesizer.

The Yamaha Corporation is, of course, the only motorcycle manufacturer that also produces a complete line of musical instruments. In fact, the company's logo - consisting of three interlocking tuning forks - pays homage to the company's early roots, which stretch back to the 1880's, when founder Torakusu Yamaha developed the first reed organ in Asia. By 1904, the company produced award-winning pianos. Yamaha first developing motorcycles in the 1950's and began selling its motorcycles through dealers in the United States beginning in 1960.

The Yamaha Corporation, based in Hamamatsu, Japan, owns several subsidiaries in the United States, including Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A, which carries an ever-expanding line of motorcycles, outboard motors, ATVs, personal watercraft, snowmobiles, boats, outdoor power equipment, race kart engines, accessories and apparel; the Yamaha Corporation of America, which carries a full line of musical instruments and sound reinforcement products; Yamaha Electronics Corporation, U.S.A., which sells home audio and video products; and Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc., which sells commercial audio equipment in the United States.

For more information, write Yamaha Corporation of America, P.O. Box 6600, Buena Park, CA 90622; telephone (714) 522-9011; e-mail; or visit

About Yamaha
Yamaha Corporation of America is the largest subsidiary of Yamaha Corporation, Japan and offers a full line of musical instruments and sound reinforcement products to the U.S. market. Products include: acoustic and digital pianos, portable keyboards, guitars, acoustic and electronic drums, band and orchestral instruments, marching percussion products, synthesizers, professional digital and analog audio products, and innovative technology products targeted to the hobbyist, education, worship, professional music, and installation markets.