Despite claiming his best ever end-of-season position in the MotoGP World Championship, seventh, Toni Elias has confirmed that he will step down to the new Moto2 class in 2010.
The Spaniard has raced in the premier-class continuously since 2005, taking one thrilling win and five further podiums - the most recent in this year's Czech Republic Grand Prix - but it wasn't enough to secure a place on the 2010 grid.
Elias, who took seven wins and 20 podiums as a 250cc rider from 2002-2004, now intends to use the new 600cc Moto2 class as a route back to MotoGP in the future.
"My MotoGP adventure is over for now but I hope to be back as soon as possible after taking on the new challenge that awaits me, starting tomorrow, in Moto2," he said on Sunday at Valencia.
Gresini Honda will run a Moto2 team next year, but Elias has also been linked to the Tech 3 and Pons Kalex Moto2 projects.
Team-mate Alex de Angelis is also out of a MotoGP ride, but is yet to announce his plans.
Marco Melandri and Marco Simoncelli will ride for Gresini Honda in MotoGP next season.