For 2010 Toni Elias will move from the premier MotoGP class over the new Moto2 class. Elias will be riding the Moriwaki MD600 chassis for Team Gresini in the inaugural Moto2 season. Alongside Elias will be his new teammate Vladimir Ivanov.
Elias who has had mixed success over the last five years in MotoGP has on rare occasion shown some racing brilliance. Valentino Rossi once stated that Elias "was riding like the devil" after Elias beat Rossi to the checker flag. Elias, meek in stature, needs to find more consistent results in the new and less powerful 600cc class.
Elias, having competed three of the past five MotoGP seasons with Team Gresini (2006, 2007, 2009) brings that one MotoGP win and three further podiums to the new Moto2 effort. As he is stepping down in class, the target for the 26 year-old Elias must be to challenge for the Moto2 title in 2010.
Tony Elias Speaks…
"I am very pleased to continue racing with Team Gresini because it is like a family to me. Alongside Moriwaki we are beginning a new adventure in Moto2. We are extremely confident about the project and we will all work with great determination to get the maximum results possible."
Fausto Gresini Speaks…
"Having Toni as our lead rider is a source of great motivation for everybody and his experience and professionalism will no doubt rub off on Vladimir and help him. Elias is a rider we know well and we have enjoyed great moments with him. He is determined, hard working and professional and he is prepared to work on development with us. He has everything in place to be competitive at every race and there is no reason why the title should not be his target."
For teammate Vladimir Ivanov this is a completely new challenge although his experience in 600cc Supersport should help him adapt easily to Moto2. The 2010 MotoGP season opens on April 11th at the Losail Circuit for the Grand Prix of Qatar.