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Toni Elías to ride a Honda with Team Fortuna

Toni Elías to ride a Honda with Team Fortuna

Toni Elías to ride a Honda with Team Fortuna

Toni Elías has reached a deal with Fortuna Honda to ride an official RSW 250 in the 2004 World Championship. The 20 year old Spaniard will team up with Roby Rolfo, who finished runner-up in this year's series, and will benefit from the technical guidance of chief mechanic Massimo Capana. After two years in the quarter-litre class riding an Aprilia for Jore Martinez ‘Aspar', with the backing of major sponsors Telefonica MoviStar and Repsol, Elias admitted that the switch had been a hard decision but added that he was sure it was the right one.

"At the moment I only have words of thanks for Aspar and, above all, for Telefónica MoviStar – who have given me their unconditional support for the last three years," said Elias, who rode a Honda in the 125cc class under the colours of the Spanish telecommunications giants in 2001. "It has been really hard to make this decision, especially because of them, but I would not rule out being together again in the future. Now I am beginning a new chapter in my career on a bike which I don't know but which has become competitive this year with the direct involvement of Honda.

"My objective this year was to win the title and we didn't achieve that but I can hold my head up high because I have always given everything – even when I didn't feel at all comfortable on the bike. The experience from this season has to be useful to us in the future and I am already looking forward to working hard in the winter and being well prepared for the new season. We have to find a good base set-up quickly because in order to win the title you have to be consistent from the first race."

Team Director Dani Amatriaín admitted that the capture of one of the hottest young talents in the paddock represented a major coup for both Fortuna and Honda. "We have gone full circle with this signing because we began the process back in 1999, when Toni made his Grand Prix debut with us in the Monlau Competition team on a Honda. Personally, the chance to work with a rider with the potential of Elías is particularly exciting. I think the combination of Roby and Toni is the best partnership in the whole World Championship."

250cc, 2003

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