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Elias fighting the pain for home fans

Elias fighting the pain for home fans

Elias fighting the pain for home fans

Toni Elias arrived at Jerez today still nursing the pain of a recent operation on his thumb, which has left the Spaniard well short of full fitness for his home race. The 20 year old will ride with heavy stitching on the affected area after work to repair bone and cartilage damage at the base of his thumb last week.

`It is very painful but I want to ride,´ said Elias, who raced with the injury still fresh at Welkom two weeks ago. `This is an important race for the sponsors and the fans and, of course, for the championship. My aim will be to pick up as many points as possible.´

Elias put the pain to one side this afternoon, however, as he caught up with 250cc rival Sebastian Porto and 125cc riders Steve Jenkner, Casey Stoner and Mika Kallio, who visited the Fuente del Rey farm on the outskirts of Jerez. The riders were given a tour of the traditional horse and bull training ranch, and even got in the ring themselves to be initiated in the art of bullfighting.

250cc, 2003, Gran Premio Marlboro de España, Toni Elias

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