Team Gresini rider Toni Elias contested his first practice session as a World Champion Friay, having been welcomed to Phillip Island Thursday by a huge sign that read ‘Congratulations Toni Elias’.
Toni was delighted by such a warm reception although the conditions were anything but warm today as rain and wind hit the paddock.
They were not the ideal circumstances to ride with a new chassis for the first time but Toni is hopeful of better weather tomorrow.
Toni Elias says: “It has been a strange day because we haven’t had much time available and the conditions were not easy. We also went out with a new chassis, which I wasn’t able to push to the limit.”
“To make things even more difficult there was a lot of traffic on track and I didn’t get chance to set a clean lap. I’m sure I could have gone faster, if not as fast as De Angelis, so it’s a case of waiting for tomorrow.”
Vladimir Ivanov says: “I was expecting worse today but I am quite happy with my lap times. I’m not too far off making up some positions tomorrow. I finished the session early so we could check a little problem with the bike, which was maybe a result of my crash at Sepang. Tomorrow I hope to do a lot better.”
Fausto Gresini says: “It was a steady day today for Toni, who I think is still celebrating that magnificent day at Sepang. I am not at all worried though, we clearly have a lot of work to do but Toni is smiling and that makes me confident about tomorrow. We know where we need to be and we will get there.”