Toni Elias, 2010 winner of the Moto 2 World Championship, will for the first time in his career be riding a Superbike during tests scheduled for September 13-14 at the Misano Adriatico circuit. The Spanish rider will undergo two days of testing aboard a BMW S1000RR for the BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team.
The timing of these tests, right after the retirement of James Toseland, is a coincidence. While BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team is looking forward, these tests were scheduled before James’ decision and Toni is committed to racing in the MotoGP championship for the rest of the season for Team LCR Honda Moto GP.
Toni Elias has participated in world championship racing in the 125, 250, Moto 2 and Moto GP categories, winning races in each categories, with different teams and motorcycles. But he has never had a chance to try out an SBK. His curiosity about this championship and about this bike has prompted everyone concerned to organize the upcoming test. One reason the Honda team is allowing these tests is because of the longtime friendship between BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team Sports Director, Serafino Foti, and owner of the Team LCR, Lucio Cecchinello.
Serafino Foti, Sports Director for the BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team, made the following comments, “James’ farewell to racing certainly was not something we were happy about. After all, James is a champion! But obviously we also have to look forward. The tests on 13 and 14 September were scheduled some time ago and we wanted to invite Toni in order to satisfy his interest as well as to take advantage of his experience and riding skills.
“The upcoming test is not aimed at replacing James in the championship, partly because Toni is already committed to the MotoGP championship. However, over the next few days we will identify and officially name the rider who will be competing for us in the last three races.
“I would like to express my personal thanks to Lucio Cecchinello for his willingness to cooperate and to Honda for going along with his request.”