Toni Elias heads to the home of Moriwaki leading the Moto2 World Championship and desperate to give the chassis manufacturer something to celebrate this weekend at Motegi, Round 14 of the 2010 MotoGP Championship.
The Grand Prix of Japan is an opportunity for the Spaniard to repay the excellent job done by Moriwaki this season although his principal objective is to keep his championship challenge on track.
With just five races left over the next six weekends concentration will be key, as will Elias' determination to prove that he is the number one rider in the intermediate class. Motegi is a circuit the Spaniard loves thanks to two 250cc victories and a podium in MotoGP, as well as a layout that suits his riding style. His Russian team-mate Vladimir Ivanov returns to action this weekend after two races out through injury.
Toni Elias says: "I would have liked to win at Aragon but we ran into a few difficulties after the crash in practice. I made a bad start in the race and after finishing the first lap back in sixteenth I managed to finish the race in fourth place, which is a positive result - I couldn't have asked for more."
"We took home some important championship points and overall it was a good weekend because we could have easily come away with nothing. I am the only rider to have scored points in every round this season and I think we are getting our reward for that consistency. Now we go to a circuit I love and I would be delighted to win the race for Moriwaki at their home Grand Prix. We know it won't be easy because Moto2 is a very unpredictable class and we have to hope that we get the luck where we need it to be amongst the frontrunners again."
Vladimir Ivanov says: "Finally I am able to return. I have been in a bad mood watching the last two races from afar but now I can get back on the bike at Motegi. I don't know the circuit but I hope to adapt quickly and get onto the pace. I am not expecting a great result but I hope to put in a good performance."
Fausto Gresini says: "Toni could have hoped for better than fourth place at Aragon but maybe the extra pressure of it being a home race got to him, especially with the crash in practice. Anyway, the result was more than positive and now we have to think about the main objective for the season and a demanding few weeks ahead in which we will have to be fully focused. There are still a lot of points available and we cannot afford to get distracted at all."
"Toni has been excellent so far and he has made the best out of the equipment given to him by the team. Obviously a top result at the home of Moriwaki would be nice but the most important target is the title and we have to think about that more than anything, which Moriwaki know. Motegi is a circuit Toni likes because of its characteristics and I am sure he will look to be the star of the Grand Prix."