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Elias confident of top-class Honda treatment

Elias confident of top-class Honda treatment

Fresh from surgery, Gresini satellite rider expects high level of factory support in 2009.

Returning to San Carlo Honda Gresini after a year with the Alice Team, Toni Elias is expecting big things from 2009. The `prodigal son´ of the Honda family will, in line with the famous parable, be receiving preferential treatment from the Japanese factory, stating that he will be supported in a similar manner to that of Sete Gibernau in his title-contending seasons with the team.

`San Carlo Honda Gresini is a satellite team, but I have been told by the bosses that we will have same support as Gibernau in his day; a near-factory bike,´ says the Spaniard on the promises made for his second stint with Fausto Gresini´s outfit.

`We will see how things go, but I think that they will be a lot more straightforward than last year.´

Elias´ year will end with surgery the day after next week´s test in Jerez, in order to remove a screw placed in his leg after his 2007 Assen horror-crash. Before the operation, he will ride for the last time in 2008 with the Honda RC212V.

`The screw needed to be in place for this long for the bone to completely solidify. It´s now time to take it out. It bothered me a little in the final races, but we decided not to have the operation earlier because of the shortened testing calendar. I will be able to recover during December,´ he explains.

`Jerez will be an important test, even without the bike that I will ride in 2009. We will have the satellite bike and Bridgestone tyres to work with over the two days.´

MotoGP, 2008, Toni Elias, San Carlo Honda Gresini

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