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Another great ride at Estoril for Elías

Another great ride at Estoril for Elías

San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Toni Elías produced another strong performance at Estoril on Sunday.

He had to do it the hard way but Toni Elías came away from the Grande Premio de Portugal with another positive Estoril result, having again ridden brilliantly at the scene of his only premier-class win back in 2006.

Elías blamed a mistake for his 13th place on the grid after qualifying on Saturday but he fought through the MotoGP pack once the racing commenced, producing another example of his late-braking style to pass Marco Melandri on the opening lap followed by James Toseland and Randy de Puniet on lap two.

Elías then got the better of Loris Capirossi and Nicky Hayden, before a Mika Kallio crash set him up for an intriguing battle for sixth over the final laps with Andrea Dovizioso, which the Spaniard won by just 0.014 seconds on the final straight.

“I’m happy because after I made a mistake in qualifying I had to start from thirteenth and sixth is a good result as I was able to overtake many riders,” Elías said afterwards. “Even though I didn’t get off the line as well as I wanted I soon got into my rhythm and was able to produce a good fightback. The hardest part was getting past Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso but I was able to make a move on Andrea near the end and I am delighted to have held on to sixth place, which is a position we deserve.”

“We finished ahead of some of the factory team bikes and that is important. Today we moved up into the top ten of the championship and in two weeks time we go to a circuit where we know it will be tough for us but where we hope to get the points that will help us towards our objective of seventh in the championship. Of course I owe a big thank you to all the guys in my team, who have done a fantastic job again this weekend.”

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

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