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Podium run brings in offers for `free agent´ Elias

Podium run brings in offers for `free agent´ Elias

Toni Elias has become a wanted man for 2009 after two consecutive podium finishes.

Impressive end-of-season results have brought many riders back from the brink of a World Championship exit, with teams typically in the crucial stage of finalising their projects following the summer break. Toni Elias is no stranger to the situation, having aided his cause in 2006 with a perfectly-timed maiden MotoGP win in Portugal. This year he has got into his stride a little earlier with podium finishes at Brno and Misano, and admits that it is after this run that the offers have begun to come in.

Elias has yet to decide on his destination, and used the post-rostrum television interview for the unique purpose of issuing a `come and get me´ plea to interested parties. It was a stance that he reiterated when talking to after the San Marino round.

`I´m a free agent, and I´ve had a few offers since my two fantastic results. I was given the chance to continue in the Alice Team, move to Aspar/Kawasaki or one or two other options,´ says the Spaniard, with both Paolo Campinoti and Jorge Martinez Aspar from the respective teams having spoken publicly about their desire to run Elias in 2009.

`I have to weigh up the offers carefully, because this won´t be a decision based solely on economic factors. I want the most attractive option for results, with a good bike and team.´

Elias also denied that his upturn in results was a question of improved effort at contract time, emphasising that it has only been recently that the Alice Team have had the means to claim podium finishes.

`We had too many problems earlier on and, even when we found the root of the problem at Le Mans, we weren´t able to do anything about it until Ducati could get us competitive parts at Sachsenring and Laguna Seca. Before we had some good tyres, but suffered a lot of problems with the chassis. We improved this, and got a satellite bike on the podium twice.´

Currently twelfth in the standings, Elias is just five points from eighth-placed Shinya Nakano.

MotoGP, 2008, Toni Elias, Alice Team

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