Moto2: Elias and Team to Jerez
Three days of testing remain for the Moto2 teams and riders before the red lights go out in Qatar, with the final session set to take place from 27-29 March at Jerez.
The Moto2 Team Gresini will be back on the racetrack in Andalucia, with Vladimir Ivanov continuing his education on the new bike and Toni Elias keen to confirm his excellent form from the opening test. The Spaniard was fast at Valencia and even faster at Jerez where, on a dry track, he left his closest rivals trailing by half a second.
Elias has given a clear indication of his potential and intentions on the Honda-powered Moriwaki MD 600 as he targets a title-winning return to the intermediate ranks. Focused and prepared, the experienced rider – a race winner at every level in Grand Prix motorcycle racing from 125cc to MotoGP – is also aware that this is only the start and that there is still a lot of work to do, especially given the testing setbacks caused by adverse weather.
Vladimir Ivanov has been one of the surprise packages in testing, lapping close to the pacesetters and with plenty of margin for improvement. A heavy crash at Valencia proved to be a slight setback in his adaptation to the new machine, surroundings and category but he is determined to get back in the mix amongst the very best riders in the Moto2 class at Jerez.
Team Gresini is taking on the Moto2 challenge with determination and effort, forging an excellent technical relationship with Moriwaki, and with the conviction that its riders can be challenging for top honours in this historic first season of Moto2 racing.
"I am really pleased with the work we have got done in the tests so far – I feel confident and determined. Obviously the weather has been unpredictable butt it has at least given us the opportunity to try the Moriwaki MD600 in the wet and now we have some clear ideas if and when it does rain at a Grand Prix."
"I was fast in the dry at Valencia but then we took another big step forward ay Jerez, where I had fun on the bike even though we still have work to do to find an optimum feeling. We are on the right lines and if the weather is on our side at the next test I am sure we can make further improvements."
"At the Jerez test this weekend we want to finalise our preparations for the first race in Qatar, where I want to be amongst the pacesetters. I have prepared meticulously for this new challenge because I want to demonstrate my true worth and potential. To do that I have to be determined and stay concentrated, without taking my eye off the ball at any point."
"Apart from the crashes at Valencia I am happy – my adaptation to Moto2 has been positive overall and we´ve managed to lap in respectable times. It was important for me to get back on the bike quickly at the Jerez test in order to regain my confidence and I spent the first day finding a set-up for my Moriwaki MD600. Mixed weather on day two and rain on day three set our programme back and when we did get a couple of laps in we suffered some chatter on the front tyre."
"Overall it was a tough test but we got some interesting data together for the next one and I felt good on the Moriwaki MD600 even in the wet. The most important thing is that I have already built a good relationship with my team – they are great professionals and it is nice to be working with them. My Chief Engineer Pier Luigi Aldrovandi is a great guy and he understands my feedback, which will be a great help in my rookie season. "
"I am more sure now than ever that I made the right decision to compete in the Moto2 championship. I am also extremely pleased to see Toni Elias looking so strong and determined. It is a source of great satisfaction for me and the team to be taking on this new challenge with Toni. He will be very fast, as he showed in the last test at the beginning of March and he can put together a strong challenge for the title."
"He is of huge value to this project, as is the agreement with Moriwaki, which is an exciting and constructive collaboration born through a shared drive for success. Finally I am pleased to be able to offer a rookie rider the opportunity to make a strong challenge in this new category."
"Vladimir has already shown us that he knows what he´s doing and he is ready to fight with the best. The whole team is working with great motivation and I am sure we can enjoy great satisfaction together."