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Motivated Elias excited about China

Motivated Elias excited about China

Toni Elias' duel with Valentino Rossi during the Grand Prix of Turkey, which continued with a verbal exchange after the race, means all eyes will be on the Spanish Honda Gresini rider when battle commences in Shanghai this weekend.

Toni Elias' duel with Valentino Rossi during the Grand Prix of Turkey, which continued with a verbal exchange after the race, means all eyes will be on the Spanish Honda Gresini rider when battle commences in Shanghai this weekend.

His solid performance in Istanbul resulted in a second place finish behind the dominant Ducati of Casey Stoner and pushed Elias up to fourth in the general classification, a position he aims to build on at the Sinopec Great Wall Lubricants Grand Prix of China this weekend.

Elias arrives in the Far East excited and motivated ahead of the fourth date of the 2007 World Championship, looking to secure another rostrum finish at a venue where he has finished 11th and 14th on his previous two MotoGP visits.

Honda Gresini tyre suppliers Bridgestone appear to have found a compound specifically suited to his unique riding style, which combines an agile off-the-seat body position with an ability to enter corners extremely hard on the brakes.

Looking forward to the weekend's proceedings, the 24 year-old Elias enthused: "I like Shanghai a lot and I'm happy to go there after such a great race in Istanbul. I have to thank my team for the work they have done on the set-up and Bridgestone, who have come up with a tyre which is perfect for my riding style. This has raised my confidence in my potential and allowed me to progress. The job still isn't finished though and we still have margin for improvement."

Results so far appear to back up Elias' confidence, after his team-mate Marco Melandri also found form in Turkey to lift Honda Gresini up to third in the team World Championship standings behind the Ducati and Yamaha factory outfits, as the leading Honda team.

Elias refused to apologise when Rossi accused him of taking a dangerous racing line in Turkey and feels that his style is helping him get the results he requires: "I'm pleased to see that my riding style, which many people said would be too aggressive for the new 800cc bike, can be effective and allow me to challenge for victories. The Shanghai straight is the longest on the calendar and that doesn't suit our bike but I hope we can make up for this with a good set-up."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, SINOPEC GREAT WALL LUBRICANTS GRAND PRIX OF CHINA, Toni Elias

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