Toni Elias lived the dream at Sepang, the Team Gresini rider fulfilling the objective he set himself at the start of the Moto2 season.
The Spaniard has been consistently amongst the frontrunners all season and has seven wins so far, overcoming problems with determination alongside his Team Gresini colleagues to become the first Moto2 World Champion in history.
After a tense weekend in Malaysia Toni travels to Australia in relaxed mood, knowing he can enjoy the final three races of the season as the World Champion. Team Gresini’s Russian rider Vladimir Ivanov is hopeful for better luck this weekend after crashing out of the race at Sepang.
Toni Elias says: "Sepang wasn’t an easy weekend – everybody was telling me I was going to become World Champion but I am superstitious and that made me tense. It was to be expected but I would have preferred not to hear it. In the end we reached our objective and it was liberating."
"My dream has become a reality and Sunday turned into a long night, with so many interviews and my desire to share the title success with everybody. I wanted to be World Champion for everybody and I was able to celebrate it with my team and my family, it was a fantastic moment. I cried and held in my heart the people who are no longer with us and everybody close to me. Now I can go to Australia feeling more relaxed and try to do the title justice at a circuit I love."
Vladimir Ivanov says: "It was a really difficult weekend for me at Sepang. I wasn’t able to get on the pace at all and in the race I crashed. I go to Australia with the determination to make up for such a disappointing performance. I don’t know the track but everybody says it’s the nicest one on the calendar so I hope I can have a good Grand Prix."
Fausto Gresini says: "Sunday at Sepang was a memorable day. To have won the title again at the same circuit where we clinched the 250cc World Championship with Daijiro Kato in 2001 was fantastic. I am delighted because Elias has completely deserved to realise this dream. Like us he had belief in this project and thanks to his determination we have seen it through ahead of schedule."
"It is a success I want to share with all the guys from the team, Moriwaki and everybody who has supported us, from the sponsors to the fans. Sunday was wonderful and now we go to Phillip Island feeling much more calm and ready to show we are worthy champions. We want to make our full contribution to Moto2, a category we had a lot of faith in and that is something we aim to maintain – in the present and the future, always with strength and determination."