Moto2 leader and Indianapolis hero Toni Elias (Gresini Racing Moto2, Moriwaki) will be hoping that the illness that plagued him last weekend will have passed by the time practice gets underway at Misano, Round 12 of the 2010 MotoGP Championship.
Elias suffered at Indy with a vicious fever, but somehow he found the strength to run at the front of the Moto2 race and finally beat early leader Julian Simon (Mapfre Aspar Team, Suter).
It was a superhuman effort from the tough little Spaniard who has won the last three Moto2 races, taking his season tally to five wins. Elias, like MotoGP team-mates Simoncelli and Melandri, rides for Fausto Gresini’s locally based squad, so he would like nothing more than to give the team a fourth straight win at Misano. Elias currently leads Andrea Iannone (Fimmco Speed Up, Speed Up) by 67 points with seven races remaining.
Iannone will be hoping to chase down Elias’ points lead by repeating his Italian Grand Prix victory at Misano, the second race of the year on Italian tarmac. Iannone scored his first Moto2 win at Mugello, dominating the race in a style that no one else has managed in the ultra-close Honda-powered series. He has since scored another win and two further podiums, and he would surely have been in the hunt for more success at Indy if he hadn’t started from 26th on the grid after a spill in practice. Incredibly, he came through from that to finish fourth. Last year at Misano, Iannone starred in a tough battle for the 125 win before he collided with leader Pol Espargaro (Derbi) at the final turn.
Following a run of below-par results, Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Moriwaki Moto2, Moriwaki) hopes to regain the form that gave him a hat-trick of podium results in June and early July. Luthi, who finished seventh at Indy, currently lies third in the Moto2 championship standings, equal with Julian Simon (Mapfre Aspar Team, Suter) who scored his fourth podium result last Sunday, just ahead of Moto2 podium first-timer Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team, Suter).
Toni Elias says: “Last weekend was very, very difficult for me. I was ill the whole time I was at Indy, so I didn’t enjoy myself very much, until I won the race! But I have to say another big thanks to the team and the Clinica Mobile for getting me through the weekend. I am sure I will be in much better shape at Misano where we will try to continue the good work of recent races, especially because it would be great to get another strong result at the team’s home event.”
“Moto2 is a tough class, there are so many riders going fast that you can never relax, not even for one moment, so we have to keep focused and keep fighting because there are still a lot of races to go.”
Andrea Iannone says: “It will be great to be racing in Italy again – obviously I have great memories of my win at Mugello and I will do everything I can to give the Italian fans another victory. Like always in Moto2, it will be tough. I know I can count on my team and myself to give our best at Misano, the team’s commitment is always fantastic and this is always a big boost for me. After my crash in practice at Indy, I should be in better shape than I was for the Indy race and I know that the Clinica Mobile staff will be helping me to do my best like they always do.”
Tom Lüthi says: “In Misano we will get a new engine and I am so much looking forward to that. I think the whole team is. And we hope that it will get us back to the top again. I quite like the track there. I did not have bad results here in the past. Now I go home for a little break, will try to use it to relax and prepare mentally for Misano and then I will try to attack the front group again there.”