When Bike Swaps Go Bad. No 4: Toni Elias

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2010 Moto2 Moriwaki to 2011 Honda RC212V MotoGP

mpossible not to feel sorry for the Spaniard, whose once-permanent grin has finally been wiped off his face by his return to MotoGP, after a triumphant season winning the inaugural Moto2 world title. The same Toni Elias who beat Rossi once by two thousandths of a second, but then later went and knocked him off. Patchy, but brilliant.

His return to MotoGP in 2011 has been more consistent. Consistently last. It’s not talent that has deserted toothy Toni, but traction. The control Bridgestone tyres have astonishing endurance, but they need to be worked hard to get warm enough to grip. The lightweight Spaniard’s style is different: back in the days of free tyres Bridgestone used to make special soft compounds for him alone.

The rider and his LCR team are seriously at odds, looking for different directions of development but finding satisfaction in none. “My problems are many,” he said. “Grip is one, but not only that. I don’t know why my results are worse. Every year is more difficult.”

At least he didn’t blame the year on the gutless Moto2 machine for spoiling his style. “It is nothing to do with that.”

Words Michael Scott  Photos 2Snap, Gold and Goose

MCN Sport

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