Honda Gresini rider Toni Elías needs to build up his confidence and get comfortable on his RC212V this weekend at round four.
His return to the San Carlo Honda Gresini team on a factory Honda bike this year has not gone quite to plan for Toni Elías so far, with two ninth places in Qatar and Spain the best he has managed to date in 2009.
Elías was downbeat after his frustration on home soil at Jerez and he does not expect a big step forward in terms of results this weekend at the Grand Prix de France where he will be aiming for a top ten finish.
The Spaniard does have happy memories from Le Mans, having scored his first ever podium there with third place in the 125cc race in 2001 and having taken victory there in the 250cc class in 2003, followed up by second place the following year.
He has not discovered his form thus far on his Gresini return, however, so will be glad of the extra practice time this weekend with a return to one-hour practices coming into play, but he does not appear to be in the most optimistic frame of mind at present even if he is actively looking for solutions to his current problems.
Tony Elias Speaks…
"I was very disappointed with the level of our performance at Jerez but we cannot turn back the clock and we simply have to take whatever positives we can out of the situation," stated the man from Barcelona. "The truth is that I think we are making progress overall and whilst we still may not be able to challenge where we want to be at Le Mans, the important thing will be to continue getting closer."
"It is a circuit I like and it suits my style because there is a lot of hard braking, but the reality is that if we don’t find a good balance for the bike then it doesn’t matter how much I like it. I felt comfortable there with the Honda in 2007, even though the race didn’t go to plan, so hopefully I can get a good feeling again and it can be a positive weekend."