Toni Elias to get LCR Honda chance?

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Toni Elias and Alex de Angelis could be thrown a MotoGP lifeline if Randy de Puniet joins Suzuki’s factory squad in 2011.

LCR Honda boss Lucio Cecchinello is waiting to find out if de Puniet will quit to join Suzuki, with the Japanese factory yet to confirm whether it will run a two-rider squad next season.

Should the Frenchman move, Cecchinello had targeted Italian duo Loris Capirossi and Marco Melandri as replacements. But Capirossi is moving to Pramac Ducati and Melandri penned a Yamaha World Superbike deal in Misano last weekend.

Cecchinello said he would then turn to Moto2 world championship leader Toni Elias or former Gresini Honda rider de Angelis to campaign his RC212V machine.

He told MCN: “Randy is still in discussion with Suzuki and we don’t know if we can renew the contract with him. Now the decision is up to Randy.

“We have a gentleman’s agreement that we will finalise everything by the next race in Aragon. There are other possibilities like Elias, de Angelis or even a superbike rider.”

Elias is desperate for a MotoGP return and the Spaniard has dominated the inaugural Moto2 series.

He’s won the last four races in succession and has a commanding 83-point lead over closest rival Julian Simon with just six races remaining.

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt