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Former Moto2 Champ Toni Elias Surprises With Double Win at MotoAmerica Superbike Opener

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Toni Elias has great international racing experience. He won the 2010 Moto2 championship, and even won a MotoGP race back in 2006. Less than a month ago, he was drafted to substitute for the injured Jake Lewis on the Yoshimura Suzuki MotoAmerica Superbike team. Showing up at Round 1 last weekend at COTA, no one knew quite what to expect.

It turns out that, in this instance, world class talent coupled with almost zero preparation time led to success. Elias won both Superbike races at COTA, and has a 10 point lead in the championship heading into Round 2 at Road Atlanta next weekend. Elias wants to stay in the U.S. and keep racing, apparently, and his championship points lead might lead to a change of plans for Yoshimura Suzuki. Jake Lewis should return soon, but Yoshimura might just have to find an extra bike for the talented Elias.

Road Atlanta will be a different challenge for Elias, as he has no previous experience at that track. Elias had previously raced at COTA in the Moto2 class.

 


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26 Comments

  1. GNG says:

    Race funs should be grateful to Elias, his Estoril win in 2006 over Rossi by 0.002 seconds gave Hayden the championship (of the premier motorcycle championship, for Christ’s sake). Oooops, expecting some unger here.

    Come on reward the guy.

  2. Rich says:

    I don’t know if anyone noticed, but the Moto 2 guys were turning faster laps than the MotoAmerica superbike guys. Pretty impressive.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      In fact the first 6 finishing positions in Moto2 had faster laps than Elias. And those spec Honda 600s are only rated at 125bhp if I am not mistaken.

      • Hot Dog says:

        Jeremey, I thought that they were rated at 150 BPH.

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          150 was the original goal from the initial Moto2 press release, but I remember reading that the engine Honda delivered produced 125bhp. HP may have crept up over the years with additional tuning (I haven’t seen any claimed specs since the beginning), but I wouldn’t expect a huge increase in power since the engine itself is virtually unchanged. Honda said they just couldn’t make it reliable enough at the 150hp mark. Have you seen anything recent that suggests they made it to the 150hp mark?

  3. Jeremy in TX says:

    I guess this must be a humbling lesson for the Motoamerica riders harboring dreams of MotoGP grandeur to get spanked by an unprepared MotoGP dropout.

  4. HMAppalachia says:

    Not a surprise to me.Toni also raced a privateer Ducati in 2008 and earned a few podium finishes on the “unrideable” bike that everyone seems to have forgotten him ever racing!

  5. Rich DuBarton says:

    Nobody else placed in the race ? or finished ?

  6. Tony says:

    Tony Elias, Claudio Corti, Soooo…. MotoAmerica is going to be a refuge for has been MotoGP racers, who’s next Kenan Sofuoğlu?

  7. mickey says:

    I think they need a class name change. Just starting to watch WSBK, and was excited to see headline HAYDEN ON POLE FOR SUPERBIKE RACE (I thought wow cool, good for Nicky). So I tune in and find out it’s Roger Hayden and not Nicky Hayden, and Moto America Superbikes not World Super Bikes. I know , my bad, not educated enough about superbikes and their schedules, but why the similarity in names? Confusing.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      Because “Motoamerica Not-Quite-as-Super-as-Superbikes” doesn’t have the same ring to it?

  8. Brinskee says:

    Whaaaa…?

    I had to read that headline 4 times before it sunk in. What a totally weird and wonderfully unexpected story. Although if memory serves correctly, wasn’t he demoted from MotoGP in 2012 after a disastrous season in 2011? Such a hot and cold rider, not sure Suzuki would be good to make many bets on him? Just my thoughts.

  9. Dave says:

    Surprised a MotoGP level racer like Tony Ellias won an AMA superbike race? No way! Far more surprised that the Suzuki’s beat the Yamaha’s.

  10. bmbktmracer says:

    Tony Elias is a phenomenal talent and we’re very lucky to have him racing in America. However, the idiotic combination of superbike and superstock is bewildering. A superstock bike gets 5th overall? Then what’s the point? What’s it feel like to finish 5th, but actually win your race? If a superstock bike can finish 5th in a superbike race, then it’s either not very stock or the rest of the superbike class sucks. It’s this kind of nonsense that leads to a lack of interest. I’d prefer a setup like MotoGP, where you have a premier class and 2 lower tiers. I understand cost is a factor and they’re trying to make it affordable for the racers, but if the fans don’t come it’s a lost cause.

  11. JPJ says:

    Impressive win for Elias. The last couple of years it’s been Roger Lee vs. a sea of Yamaha’s. The Suzuki GSXR-1000 has not been updated since 2008-09′. The team at Yoshimura is certainly one of the best in the paddock. I hope MotoAmerica can increase the interest here in the USA. Two separate classes on the track to make a full grid is disappointing. I also ask where is the factory teams for ? Honda, Kawasaki, Ducati, BMW, KTM, Aprilia. I hope Elias stays in the paddock,maybe invite some others from “across the pond”.

    • VForce says:

      KTM just pulled out. Same with BMW. Ducati has been in and out. Only Yamaha and Suzuki have been consistently supporting the US racing. This year, Kawasaki is supporting the Latus team. Aprilia is supporting the HSBK team that Corti rides for. Considering how empty the stands are, and especially how empty they have been over the last few years, I don’t think many people would blame the OEMs for not supporting it. Hopefully Wayne can bring this back from the dead (thanks DMG)

  12. VForce says:

    That was a great battle between Tony and Roger. I have mixed feelings about a former Moto GP winner/ Moto 2 champion riding in Superbike however. Ringer?

    That is not meant as a slam on Tony by any means. He deserves credit for the wins and he rode great races.

    The best racing was between Corti, Herrin and Eslick. That was an epic battle, glad to see the Aprilia win the drag race to the line.

  13. Hot Dog says:

    Very slowly MotoAmerica is starting to awaken interest. I’d like to see Big Red jump in with both feet too.

  14. notarollingroadblock says:

    Not exactly what Rainey had planned for MotoAmerica, though it does get the series some attention and maybe raises the game of the home grown boys.

  15. Scott says:

    How anxious will Yoshimura Suzuki be to hand the championship leader’s bike back to Jake Lewis when he’s healthy? Oops.

  16. mickey says:

    “and even won a MotoGP race back in 2006”

    fun fact..he beat Valentino Rossi in that race in Portugal by 0.002 seconds which was a major factor in Val losing the World Championship that year (by 5 points to Nicky Hayden).

  17. Ron H. says:

    I believe the next race is at Road Atlanta, not Road America.