When Toni Elias left Aspar after the Mugello GP he was almost immediately linked for a return back to Fausto Gresini’s Moto2 team that gave him the 2010 Moto2 World title and replace a struggling Gino Rea, however if Gresini decides to replace the British rider, Elias could find some competition from Mattia Pasini.
Pasini has also been struggling with his CRT machine and in the ‘third tier championship’ he is fourth with 13 points and last weekend’s Laguna Seca GP may have been the straw that broke the camel’s back as he DNF’d for the fourth time this season with a best result so far being 10th spot at Assen.
The Speed Master rider, according to the Italian media seems to willing to take a step backwards and return to Moto2 and apparently negotiations for him to replace Rea starting in the upcoming Indianapolis GP are at a good point.
If Pasini does decide to drop out of MotoGP, his Speed Master ART machine (the team seems to be cash strapped) could be picked up Forward Racing and given to Colin Edwards who is tired of fighting against a verydifficult Bosch electronics package on his BMW-Suter and during the Laguna Seca pre-event press conference he actually said, “My bike’s a piece of shit.” Edwards did test Michele Pirro’s FTR-Honda and Avintia Blusens BQR machine during the Mugello post-race test when Forward Racing seemed poised to change machinery.
Source | omnicorse.it
Pramac’s sporting director Carlo Pernat threw a curveball the other evening during an Italian sports show when he said that Roger Lee Hayden would probably be replacing injured Hector Barbera, in this weekend’s Red Bull US GP race at Laguna Seca, instead the team decision has fallen on the recently unemployed Toni Elias to ride the Desmosedici GP12.
For Elias - who left Aspar’s Moto2 after the Mugello GP - it will be return to the MotoGP class after his very dismal comeback 2011 season with LCR Honda, and it will also be a return to riding a satellite Ducati after spending 2008 with the Alice Team - now Pramac (his team mate was Sylvain Guintoli) where he stood on the podium twice, at Brno and Misano.
As speculated immediately after Toni Elias parted ways with Aspar’s Moto2 team after the Mugello Moto2 race, ‘Aspar Martinez’ has announced that CEV rider Jordi Torres will be replacing the former 2010 Moto2 World Champion for the rest of the season while continuing in the CEV championshipwith his JHK T-Shirt LaGlisse team
Torres is currently second in the CEV Buckler Moto2 standings and just four points from Roman Ramos after crashing out while he was leading by 2.9 seconds in yesterday’s round at Albacete.
The Spaniard has already ridden for Aspar last year when he replaced injured Julian Simon from the Silverstone GP onward and this season substituted for injured Xavier Simeon in Tech3 at Catalunya.
“Finally I have another serious opportunity to compete in the Moto2 World Championship,” said Torres. “I think it will be better for me than last year because I know all the tracks now. The whole experience last season helped me to mature as a rider and that is going to help me make the most of this chance. I’ll be competing in both championships [Spanish and World] at the same time so I will have to work hard to get used to using a different bike and tyre in each. I am going into it with an open mind and my objective is merely to make gradual progress.I know this is a great opportunity for me and I am going to fight hard to make it work.”
The out-of work Elias is being linked with a return to Gresini’s Moto2 team, but the Spanish media are also speculating he could either replace Yuki Takahashi in NGM Mobile Forward Racing or Takaaki Nakagami in Italtrans Racing Team.
First ever Moto2 World Champion and former MotoGP rider Toni Elias and Aspar Martinez have announced today that they will be parting ways for the rest of the season.
Since his return to Moto2 after a disastrous return season in MotoGP in 2011 with LCR Honda, Elias has had trouble adjusting to the Suter machine and his best result has been a 7th place at Estoril, while at Sachsenring last week and today at Mugello he crashed out, so the two have decided to part ways with immediate effect.
Rumors have it that CEV Moto2 rider Jordi Torres, who is currently leading in the standings with 85 points will be offered Elias’saddle. Torres has often been called on to replace injured riders and last season took part in 10 out of 17 Moto2 races as a substitute rider, and this year replaced injured Tech3 rider Xavier Simeon at the Catalunya GP.
“We got behind Toni Elías right from the start of the 2012 preseason. Ever since his previous stint in the team, back in the 250cc class, he has shown that he is a fast rider. In 2010 he won the Moto2 title. The aim of the MAPFRE Aspar Team is always to be the top team in the intermediate class and a clear contender for the World Championship. This year we had put great faith in Toni’s ability to bring us the title, but in the end things didn’t turn out as we had expected. We have both decided to part ways; we feel that this decision is best for both Toni and for the MAPFRE Aspar Team,” said Jorge ‘Aspar’ Martinez.
Toni Elías said, “I am sorry not to have been able to continue with the Mapfre Aspar Team. The team have given their all in preseason and in the season itself. We have always looked for solutions together to try and go fast with the Suter, but in the end we weren’t able to find a way. The atmosphere in the garage and the relationship between the team and I has always been excellent, the mechanics have given their all to try and find solutions and Jorge has believed completely in me, but things haven’t turned out as we had hoped. We’ve decided to terminate our collaboration; we are still at the midway point of the season and there is time for both of us to improve results separately.”
Mapfre is the leading insurance company in Spain and they are the title sponsor’s of Aspar’s Moto2 racing team that fields the last 125cc World Champion Nico Terol and 2010 Moto2 World Champion Toni Elias.
You can check out the company’s newest commercial that was broadcasted on Spanish TV during the Jerez GP above, but we actually prefer the one after the jump, that has Spanish racing legends Angel Nieto and Jorge ‘Aspar’ Martinez up against a gang of thugs.
Toni Elias will be riding for Aspar’s Moto2 team next season.
For Elias it will be a return to the middle class after winning the 2010 Moto2 championship and a very difficult 2011 season with LCR Honda, and it will also be a return to Jorge Martinez team. Elias rode for Martinez in the 2002 and 2003 250cc championships on a Aprilia with Telefonica and Repsol colours.
Elias will be fielded with the already confirmed 125cc World Champion Nico Terol, which means that recently signed Aleix Espargaro will now be promoted to ride one of Aspar’s Aprilia CRTs.
“I’m really delighted to return to the Aspar Team which is like a family to me because I was there in 2002 and 2003,” said Elias. “Many years have passed since then but I’ll work with the same technical team, and I know they have great potential. Added to that is the fact the bike is very strong. We’ll work extremely hard throughout the winter to be ready for next season, and I think we can have a very good campaign. We fought for the title together in 2003 and in the end we weren’t able to get it, so we have unfinished business there. This is an added motivation to fight for the title in 2012.”
Jorge Martínez ‘Aspar’, Team Owner: “I’m extremely happy to welcome Toni Elías to the Aspar Team. We still have great memories of his time in the team in 2002 and 2003. With regards to Nico, it’s fantastic that he makes the step up to Moto2. It’s a completely new category for him, and as such all he has to do is enjoy every moment and work hard so that he learns and moves forward. I’m convinced he’ll do well because he’s a World Champion, irrespective of what category he is in. We have a really strong line-up, and the Aspar team will continue to be at the highest level next season.”
Effenbert Liberty Racing team has the intention of fielding four Ducati’s in next season’s World Superbike championship. Alongside Jakub Smrz and Sylvain Guintoli, the Czech team would like to form a sort of Junior team run by Superstock team Barni Racing who would like nothing better to switch to the more high profile World Superbikes.
Elias tested a BMW S1000RR a couple of weeks ago at Misano and even if his test wasn’t a raging success, the Spaniard is still considering moving to the World Superbike series, seeing the excellent results that former MotoGP riders like Marco Melandri, Max Biaggi and Carlos Checa are having.
While Michel Fabrizio’s dismal season with Alstare Suzuki has forced the Italian to look for another team and it seems that Kawasaki’s Pedercini team has made him an offer to join Mark Aitchison in the squad, however if Fabrizio should refuse, the team has Maxime Berger waiting in the wings after his Supersonic team announced that they would be pulling out of the championship at the end of the season.
Source | moto.it
Toni Elias still has no idea what he’ll be doing next year after a very dismal return to MotoGP, after winning the Moto2 championship in 2010. The Spaniard was invited by BMW Italia to take part in the World Superbike test at Misano, but it wasn’t exactly a stunning success, even if was the first time he rode a Superbike.
Elias ended up two seconds slower than his former Gresini team mate Marco Melandri who led the timesheets on both days and was even slower than Aprilia and BMW test riders and TV commentators, Alex Hofmann and Steve Martin.
The LCR Honda rider, who had to cut the test short because he had to return to Spain for the upcoming MotoGP round at Aragon, was interviewed by motosprint.it explained the problems he encountered on riding the BMW S1000RR.
“The tank is so big that I can’t reach the handlebars and levers with sufficient force and can’t control the bike. The first thing I’d need would be smaller gas tank and a different riding position: foot pegs, controls, handlebars.”
“I’m not used to riding production based bikes, they move a lot and I can’t open the throttle. I tried stiffening the suspensions, but the BMW become even more difficult to ride. I needed more time to adapt the bike to my physical and riding characteristics.
The BMW has a great engine but the power comes suddenly and isn’t easy to manage. The Superbike is more powerful than I imagined.”
According to Motosprint, it seems that BMW Italia after this test, is no longer interested in offering Elias a ride next season and that even Castrol Honda who was looking at the Spaniard to replace Ruben Xaus, has also changed their mind.
Toni Elias has received an invitation from World Superbike team BMW Italia to test their S1000RR machine tomorrow and Wednesday at the Misano World circuit.
The reigning Moto2 champion who is enduring a tough return season in MotoGP with LCR Honda is highly expected to be axed at the end of the year (Andrea Dovizioso is relunctantly in talks to take his place), will now get a chance to see how he adapts to the 1000cc Superbike.
BMW Italia is currently looking for a rider to replace James Toseland who announced his retirement due to injury, however if Elias turns in some interesting lap times, theoretically he could get a wildcard chance at at Imola September 25th as MotoGP and Superbike schedules don’t clash that weekend.
Last year Spanish riders ruled all three Grand Prix classes, Marc Marquez in 125cc, Toni Elias in Moto2 and Jorge Lorenzo in MotoGP, and what better way for Spain to promote tourism in their fantastic country, than use the three champions.
This is one of the videos that the Spanish Tourist Board launched as part of the campaign ‘I need Spain’ to bring more people to visit Spain and see the diversity that the country offers to tourists.
Other top personalities in the campaign include top chef, Ferrán Adriá, Gisela Pulido, six times Kitesurfing World Champion, the Spanish Basketball team and the Spanish players in the Liverpool football team.