Toni Elias said a massive weight had been lifted off his shoulders after he clinched a historic first Moto2 world title in Sepang yesterday.
The Spaniard finished fourth and with closest challenger Julian Simon limping home in a dismal 21st after an eighth lap crash, Elias wrote his name in the history books as the first rider to win the new 600cc four-stroke class.
The Gresini Moriwaki rider, who has won seven races and is the only rider in Moto2 to score points in all 14 races, said: “When I crossed the line the first thing I did was cry a lot, but then after that it seemed like my emotions were blocked, I couldn’t cry, I couldn’t feel anything; I don’t know why.
"Finally we reached our target. To win this championship we had to lose two – a 125 (in 2001) and a 250 (in 2003). All that experience made me stronger and gave me what I needed to win this championship.
"It has been many years of fighting and then this year a lot of work with my team and with Moriwaki. My dream has come true, now we will continue fighting for another championship, maybe here or maybe in MotoGP.
"I have learned many things in Moto2, so whatever I do next I will be stronger. I feel like a weight has come off my shoulders.”
Elias said his Moto2 experience had not been as easy as he’d anticipated despite his domination of the class.
He wrapped up the title with three races remaining and holds a 94-point lead in the series.
He added: “When I came to Moto2 I thought it would be an easy class, but that all changed at the first corner of the first race in Qatar, when I quickly understood it would be very difficult. It has been closer than we expected.
"The most important race for me was Germany, where we made a big change to the chassis set-up. In one go we made two big steps forward, and from then on I knew we could be competitive and consistent.
"But we also won the championship with some difficult races, like Silverstone where I qualified 18th but still managed to finish in the top ten,”
For full coverage of the Sepang race including Jorge Lorenzo’s MotoGP title success and Valentino Rossi’s incredible surge from 11th to first, see Wednesday’s MCN.