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Toni Elías recounts his title-winning year in Moto2

Toni Elías recounts his title-winning year in Moto2

The Spaniard, who took the inaugural Championship crown in the category in 2010, reviews an eventful year and casts an eye towards his return to the MotoGP class next year in a feature interview.

Toni Elías’ stay in Moto2 may have been brief but the Spaniard’s one-season spell in the category in 2010 was a complete success, as he took the inaugural World Championship crown in the new intermediate class. In the attached feature video interview the 27 year-old reviews his first world title and also talks about his impending return to the premier class.

Elías did not enjoy the smoothest of final preparations for the start of the campaign as an injury picked up during pre-season testing meant he arrived in Qatar for Round 1 not fully fit. A courageous ride to fourth position – from pole – was testament to his determination and back to back wins at Jerez and Le Mans followed.

“It had been a long time without winning a race (since Portugal 2006 in MotoGP), and having that feeling again was perfect,” said Elías of his first of seven wins of the season. “It was even more incredible because it was in front of Spanish fans at Jerez, where the atmosphere is incredible.”

Discussing the moment he realised the Championship could be there for the taking after winning at Sachsenring in Round 8, Elías said: “Germany was perfect because we suffered a lot and in only two or three practices we changed the situation 100% and were able to win that race. It was a very important race but also the first day we thought: ‘This Championship could be for us’.”

That was the first of four straight wins and after fourth place at Aragón the seventh victory of the season in Japan set Elías up for a title-clinching ride at Sepang. “I felt less pressure at Sepang, but I thought it was better (to go for the title there) than wait for Phillip Island because that’s a difficult track for me. Also, I told my mother to buy tickets for the plane to come to Sepang because I felt it could be the date!”

Fourth position in Malaysia delivered Elías the title, of which he said: “At the first moment my emotions were completely blocked. I couldn’t feel anything, I couldn’t cry, I couldn’t laugh. The, after two hours I started to cry, to laugh, to feel it. When I really understood what happened was when I arrived in my hometown, everybody was there for a big party; the whole city, my family, my friends.”

Elías’ reward is a return to the premier class and he will ride with LCR Honda in 2011, having already conducted his first Official Test in Valencia immediately after the last race of the season.

“I knew I needed to win the Championship if I wanted to get back into MotoGP, and now we will be. I’m delighted that Lucio (Cecchinello, LCR Honda Team Manager), has given me this opportunity. It could be great and I’m very confident.”

Tags:
Moto2, 2010, Toni Elias, Gresini Racing Moto2

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