The inaugural Moto2 Championship, which replaced the 250cc Class for 2010, was won by the Spaniard Toni Elias.
The 27-year old Moriwaki rider, who joined Moto2 after five consecutive years in MotoGP, won seven out of 17 rounds this year, winning the title by 70 points over Suter Moto2 rider Julian Simon.
The Moto2 Class, which uses spec-Honda 600cc engines, was a complete success in it’s first year, and Elias will forever be a part of its history. For 2011, though, Elias rejoins the MotoGP grid, riding a RC212V for LCR Honda.
But the beginning of the Moto2 season was anything but fruitful for Elias. He arrived at Round 1 in Qatar not fully fit for the race due to in injury he sustained in pre-season testing. But Elias still grabbed the pole, and took fourth at the first Moto2 race.
He followed up Qatar with two consecutive wins at Jerez and Le Mans.
Toni Elias says: "It had been a long time without winning a race (since Portugal 2006 in MotoGP), and having that feeling again was perfect. It was even more incredible because it was in front of Spanish fans at Jerez, where the atmosphere is incredible."
Elias wouldn’t get his next win until Round 8 at Sachsenring in Germany; the team then realized they could win the Moto2 Championship.
Toni Elias says: "Germany was perfect because we suffered a lot and in only two or three practices we changed the situation 100 percent and were able to win that race. It was a very important race but also the first day we thought: ‘This Championship could be for us’."
After taking the Germany Moto2, Elias followed up with three additional consecutive wins – Czech Republic, Indianapolis and San Marino – and then at Sepang he clinched the Moto2 title.
Toni Elias says: "I felt less pressure at Sepang, but I thought it was better (to go for the title there) than wait for Phillip Island because that’s a difficult track for me. Also, I told my mother to buy tickets for the plane to come to Sepang because I felt it could be the date!"
"At the first moment my emotions were completely blocked. I couldn’t feel anything, I couldn’t cry, I couldn’t laugh. The, after two hours I started to cry, to laugh, to feel it. When I really understood what happened was when I arrived in my hometown, everybody was there for a big party; the whole city, my family, my friends."
After he wrapped up the Moto2 Championship, Elias took his first ride on the LCR Honda MotoGP bike at the traditional post-season tests in Valencia. During the MotoGp tests, he was 16th fastest on Day 1, and 17th fastest on Day 2.
Toni Elias says: "I knew I needed to win the Championship if I wanted to get back into MotoGP, and now we will be. I’m delighted that Lucio (Cecchinello, LCR Honda Team Manager), has given me this opportunity. It could be great and I’m very confident."
The first official test of the 2011 MotoGP season will occur Feb. 1-3 at Sepang, the same track in Malaysia where Elias clinched his Moto2 title.