Reigning Moto2 world champion Toni Elias, who has secured a return to MotoGP with LCR Honda, has been using the enforced winter break to increase his strength and fitness though a wide variety of training techniques.
“Toni has already 'tasted' MotoGP and he is aware about the efforts related to this machine,” said team manager Lucio Cecchinello. “The weight of the two bikes [Moto2 and MotoGP] is similar but the weight/power proportion is more important aboard the 800cc bike.
“A premier-class rider must increase his muscles especially in the upper body as in the breaking and acceleration phases he has to undergo heavy strains mostly in the forearms and in the triceps.
"Just consider that the bike can reach 340kmh before the braking point! So a strong hold of the handlebar is fundamental.
“The right training includes muscles reinforcement as well as aerobic exercises because endurance is very important too.”
Elias believes the key to such demanding training is to enjoy it; hence he opts for sports rather than gym work.
“I really like the mountain and I live nearby so, together with my friends Ivan Cervantes [Spanish Enduro Champion] we concentrated on the winter sports,” began Elias.
“Climbing up a peak is not easy and the first week there has been very hard for me but then I have found my rhythm.
“In my opinion it is very important to enjoy what you are doing though it is very demanding. Sport must be fun.”
And nothing is more fun for Toni than riding motocross with his dad.
“I practice several sports: footing, cycling [road and mountain], cross country skiing and long walks with the snowshoes, gym and some karting - but what I like most is the motocross training with my dad,” he said.
“We have got a motocross track next to our house and my father is spurring me to do the best always. He is a former motocross champion and he is still very fast! Well... I think I am doing a good job to be fit for the first round in Qatar.”
Elias took one win and five further podiums while racing in MotoGP from 2005-2009.