The Spaniard was second to Marc Marquez in 2016 Superprestigio Dirt Track
“Winning the 2017 Superprestigio is my next goal”, says Yoshimura Suzuki rider
Toni Elías, second to three-time MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez in the 2016 Superprestigio Dirt Track, has already started his own countdown to the fifth run of the Barcelona flat-track invitational event, scheduled December, 16.
The rider from Manresa, town located 40 miles north of Barcelona, is the newly-crowned champion of the MotoAmerica Superbike American championship and will grid up next weekend in the American Flat Track Finals to be held in Perris, California.
The full-time roadracer and 2010 Moto2 world champion will ride a Suzuki RM-Z450 and will be supported by Yoshimura Racing, the same team the Spaniard races for in MotoAmerica Superbike.
Elias will make his American Flat Track debut in the Singles class, reserved to 4-stroke single-cylinder bikes. He will not face therefore former adversaries in Spanish Superprestigio such as Jared Mees or Brad “The Bullet” Baker, but sure he will clash elbows to other Barcelona graduates, such as US flattracker Shayna Texter –current runner-up in the Singles class standings- or Briton Oliver Brindley.
This is the second time Elias will be racing a flat-track event in the US. First was the 2015 Las Vegas Superprestigio, a race conceived as a replica to the Spanish dirt-track invitational event held in Barcelona since 2014.
The AFT event in California –his residence during the Superbike season- and the Superprestigio in Spain will end up Elias’s fantastic 2017. He has clinched the MotoAmerica Superbike title in his second season by winning 10 races and finishing 88 points ahead teammate Roger Lee Hayden. Former MotoGP champ Nicky Hayden –Roger’s big brother and a dirt-track specialist who passed away last May- was very close to grid up Barcelona’s Superprestigio Dirt Track last year.
TONI ELÍAS, 2017 MotoAmerica Superbike champion
“Every year we are improving, learning new things and I think this will be a good way to improve more and continue learning. I feel a lot of motivation because the American Flat Track championship is something new for me and I will race against the best flattrackers in the world. It will be great to build up more experience and get well prepared for my next goal: winning Barcelona Superprestigio race this year”.