MotoGP: Toni Elias clinches D’Antin Ducati deal

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In a move widely anticipated for weeks, Spaniard Toni Elias will partner Sylvain Guintoli in the 2008 MotoGP world championship.

This morning’s announcement (Friday) follows yesterday’s confirmation that Japanese rider Shinya Nakano had agreed a deal to take Toni Elias’s place in the Gresini Honda team.

Current team boss Fausto Gresini had already lost number one rider Marco Melandri to Ducati’s factory team in late July, and had an option on Toni Elias that gave him 10 days to make a counter offer should Elias receive a formal approach from a rival team.

When Toni Elias communicated to the former world 125 champion of his D’Antin Ducati offer, Fausto Gresini confirmed that he was unable to match the offer and released him.

Team Roberts now remain the only MotoGP squad on the 2007 grid yet to finalise plans for next season.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt