Tony Elias comes from a racing family, his father a top Spanish motocross rider and owner of a motorcycle shop in Manresa. Elias got his first taste for speed playing Scalextric racing cars indoors and riding minibikes outdoors.
His father soon understood that Toni had an affinity for two wheels and bought him a minicross bike and then a minimoto. Success was also in the genes, because Elias junior won his first title – his local minimoto crown – when he was just nine.
In 1993 he contested the more competitive Catalan minimoto series, taking third overall. The next year he was second and in 1995 he was promoted to the Catalan 80cc scooter series. Elias’ career really took off in 1997 when he won two Scootermania trophies, finished second in the Catalan 80cc championship and second in the Open 50cc series.
It was obvious that Elias needed to move on to real motorcycles, so he graduated to 125s in 1998, taking third in the Spanish 125 championship the following year.
That same season Elias made his GP debut at the Spanish GP. He failed to score but made amends at Valencia, surviving treacherously slippery conditions to net his first points for 14th place. In 2000 Elias contested his first full GP season aboard a Honda RS125, learning plenty and scoring his first top-ten result with eighth at Catalunya.
In 2001 he joined the new Telefonica Junior Honda team, riding alongside Dani Pedrosa and Joan Olive. With a great team structure behind him Elias went from strength to strength. He took his first podium at the French GP and won typically thrilling 125 battles to score his first GP victories at the Dutch and Czech rounds.
Graduation to 250s in 2002 brought early dividends, with Elias’ first 250 podium at the Dutch TT and his first win, scored in typically flamboyant style with a last-corner pass on that year’s champion Marco Melandri, at the Pacific GP. In 2003 Elias took an impressive five victories to finish a close-run third overall.
MotoGP welcomed Elias in 2005, but it was a tough year, marred by a broken wrist sustained during testing at Le Mans. In 2006 he switched from Yamaha to Honda and was immediately competitive, taking fourth place at the season-opening Spanish GP and battling for the lead at the third round in Turkey.
Elias climbed a MotoGP podium for the first time when he won the 2006 Portuguese GP, defeating reigning World Champion Valentino Rossi in a breathtaking last lap duel. His 2007 season was spoiled by a broken leg, sustained at the Dutch round. In 2008 Elias had an up and down season on a Ducati, scoring podium results at the Czech and San Marino GPs.
Elias finished 7th in the MotoGP World Championship, riding for San Carlo Gresini Honda. He unable to secure his MotoGP ride with the team, but stays with them this year again in their Moto2 team, riding the Moriwaki MD600 and is a firm favourite for the title.
Tony Elias Moto2 Rider information
|Team||Gresini Racing Moto2|
|Race machine||Moriwaki MD600|
|Date of birth||March 26th, 1983|
|Hobbies||Cycling, surfing, music|
|First Race||1992 Pocketbike racing|
|GP Debut||1999 – 125cc Catalunya Grand Prix – RS125R|
|First GP Win||1999 – 125cc Dutch Grand Prix – RS125R|
|Total GP Wins||10 (1 x MotoGP, 7 x 250cc, 2 x 125cc)|
|Total Podiums||35 (6 x MotoGP, 20 x 250cc, 9 x 125cc)|
|1992||1st Manresa Pocketbike Cup|
|1993||3rd Catalan Pocketbike Championship|
|1994||2nd Catalan Pocketbike Championship|
|1995||10th Catalan Scooter Championship|
|1996||4th Catalan Scooter Championship|
|1997||1st ScooterMania Cup|
|1998||23rd 125cc Spanish Championship, Honda|
|1999||3rd 125cc Spanish Championship, Honda|
|2000||20th 125cc World Championship, Honda|
|2001||3rd 125cc World Championship, Honda (2 Race wins)|
|2002||4th 250cc World Championship, Aprilia (1 Race win)|
|2003||3rd 250cc World Championship, Aprilia (5 Race wins)|
|2004||4th 250cc World Championship, Honda (1 Race win)|
|2005||12th MotoGP World Championship, Yamaha|
|2006||9th MotoGP World Championship, Honda (1 Race win)|
|2007||12th MotoGP World Championship, Honda|
|2008||12th MotoGP World Championship, Ducati|
|2009||7th MotoGP World Championship, Honda|