Just two days after his final appearance as a Gresini Honda MotoGP rider, Toni Elias was back on track for the Italian team during testing at Valencia on Tuesday - on a Moto2 machine.
Although Elias had admitted he was heading for Moto2 on Sunday evening, he didn't name the team, but some signings since (Tech 3 announced its Moto2 line-up on Tuesday) seem to have prompted the Spaniard to sign a 'pre-contract' with Gresini.
That seems like a smart move by Elias since it allows him to try the team's Moriwaki built bike, but if he feels it will not be competitive he has no binding contract.
“In Moto2 we did some more tests this morning with Xavier Simeon to allow him more time on the bike and to see how good the kid is, and then in the afternoon we let Elias out on it, having signed a pre-contract agreement with him until the end of November,” confirmed team manager Fausto Gresini.
Riders sharing Moto2 machines meant Elias wasn't credited with an official lap time , but the team state that the one time MotoGP - and seven time 250GP - race winner set a best lap of 1min 37.280sec.
That was just a fraction slower than Simeon, who was fastest of the 600cc riders credited with an official time.
“Elias was pleased to ride the bike and his lap time was good,” continued Gresini. “Obviously it is not a MotoGP bike, it is slower and he said that it felt sluggish in comparison but I have to say that he is approaching the project with enthusiasm."
Elias has previously been linked to the Pons Kalex Moto2 project and has already stated that he intends to use a season in the new Moto2 class as a springboard for a return to MotoGP.