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Elías aiming to be a frontrunner again

Elías aiming to be a frontrunner again

This weekend sees Toni Elías return to the scene of his greatest MotoGP triumph.

The MotoGP World Championship’s visit to Estoril this weekend will bring back some great memories for the San Carlo Honda Gresini team and their rider Toni Elías, who triumphed at the Portuguese venue in 2006.

Elías goes into the Grande Premio de Portugal sitting twelfth in the current standings and with no announcement yet made on his future, following news earlier in the year that he will not remain with Honda Gresini in 2010.

Nonetheless the likeable Spaniard is in a relaxed frame of mind ahead of round 14, having made the most of the break since Misano. He stated, “I’ve spent this unusual and long break in training, having fun cycling and surfing. I also went to watch the Andorra Supermoto Grand Prix and spent a day with Mikko Hirvonen, the current World Rally Championship leader, riding with him in his WRC car, which was incredibly exciting.”

Elías continued, “Naturally I was constantly thinking about getting back to competitive action myself and the next race at Estoril, where I won in 2006. It’s a circuit I love and where I hope to be amongst the frontrunners again. I’m in good form and my feeling with the bike is great so I can’t be anything but optimistic about this one.”

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Gresini pit-box Alex de Angelis is also still fighting for his MotoGP future and hopes to improve on his current championship placing of eighth, as he looks to bounce back from his first lap home heartbreak at Misano.

“I’ve been training hard over the break and taking out my frustrations of the last race, when I crashed at the end of an otherwise positive weekend,” De Angelis commented. “It left a bitter taste in my mouth but I am in great form at the moment and at a circuit like Estoril, where I always went well in the smaller classes, I know I can put things right.”

“Unfortunately last year I had a 39°C fever and it was a miracle that I made it to the end of the race. This year I go to Portugal with everything in my favour because I am starting to get the full potential out of my bike and the typically changeable conditions at Estoril won’t worry me because we have already proved that we can be fast both in the wet and in the dry.”

MotoGP, 2009, GRANDE PREMIO DE PORTUGAL, Toni Elias, San Carlo Honda Gresini

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