Toni Elias MotoAmerica News
Toni Elias – the 2010 Moto2 Champion who has substituted for the injured Jake Lewis aboard the Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 – was contracted to finish out the MotoAmerica season.
After signing ahead of the opening round at Austin’s Circuit of the Americas, Elias began dominating. The 33-year-old Spaniard won both MotoAmerica Superbike races in Austin, and followed that up with the race-one win in Road Atlanta. Elias suffered a crash, though, at race two, and had finished outside the top-10 during a rain-filled round three at New Jersey Motorsports Park.
Speaking of the signing, Elias says: “I’m very happy for the opportunity to continue racing with Yoshimura Suzuki. I’ve ‘gotten to be good friends with everyone on the team and we work together very well. I’m also happy for Jake to be able to continue racing with Suzuki on the Team Hammer Suzuki. Jake was so kind to help me in any way he could as I filled in for him. I look forward to seeing him back on the track.”
As Elias continues next to Roger Lee Hayden in the Superbike class, Lewis will move to Team Hammer on the M4 Suzuki GSX-R1000 in the Superstock 1000 class, which after three of nine rounds is led by Aprilia’s Claudio Corti. The move became possible after Team Hammer rider/owner Chris Ulrich retired from racing.
“Suzuki Motor of America is pleased to have the resources available and the support of our M4 and Yoshimura Suzuki teams to take full advantage of this opportunity,” said Suzuki Road Race Manager Pat Alexander. “We have a tremendous heritage with the most championships on the GSX-R and these changes will give us a great opportunity to continue achieving strong results in both the MotoAmerica Superstock and Superbike classes.”
Yoshimura Suzuki Vice President Don Sakakura adds: “We’re happy to have Toni officially join the team for the rest of the season. Toni has provided a great boost and wants to stay. The logistics were made easier for everyone when we learned Team Hammer had an opening. Having Jake available to step in and provide them a proven rider is a win-win situation for both teams. Jake will continue his development as a GSX-R1000 rider with Suzuki with one of the most established teams in the paddock.”
After three rounds, Elias is third in the points battle, 13 behind four-time AMA SuperBike Champion Josh Hayes. The 2016 MotoAmerica series heads to Virginia International Raceway for round four May 13-15.