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Elías consolidates quarter-litre status with first podium

Elías consolidates quarter-litre status with first podium

Elías consolidates quarter-litre status with first podium

The `Cathedral´ of motorcycle racing has twice witnessed the baptism of Toni Elias. It was at the Dutch TT in 2001 that he collected his first ever victory in the 125cc class, sparking a season-long scramble for his signature to ride a quarter-litre machine in 2002. Since moving to an Aprilia at the end of last season Elias has adapted to his new steed in double time, picking up his first podium in the 250 category with second place at his sacred circuit last Saturday.

Elías is a humble and modest person, but on the track he is the epitomy of drive and ambition. Under the guidance of Jorge Martínez `Aspar´ and aided by his Telefónica Movistar Repsol team-mate Fonsi Nieto, Elías has worked intensively, gathering experience with each race and making precious few mistakes. He only failed to score points in South Africa, when he finished sixteenth, but it was in the fourth round at Le Mans when he began to threaten the podium and since then he has gone from strength to strength.

The 19 year old Spaniard is pleased with his progress but refuses to look back, preferring instead to focus on the challenges which still lie ahead. `I was delighted to be on the podium at Assen again because I won my first race there,´ he enthuses. `Second place in this class feels like a personal victory for me because I have worked very hard to get here. My team have not stopped since the preseason and bit by bit we have made the grade, but I still lack the experience to be able to ride with someone like Melandri. On Saturday it was impossible for me to catch him and I know that I have a long way to go before I am at his level.´

250cc, 2002

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