Toni Elias says he hopes he gets the opportunity to ride the Pramac Ducati again, despite a disappointing comeback performance being brought to an end just two laps into the United States Grand Prix.
Called up to replace the injured Hector Barbera, former MotoGP race winner Elias struggled for form throughout the weekend as he attempted to acclimatise himself to the Ducati on one of the calendar's trickier circuits.
Qualifying in 17th position, behind five CRT machines, Elias's weekend went from bad-to-worse when he lost time circumnavigating Michele Pirro's falling FTR-Honda at the opening turn, before crashing out by himself just a lap later.
Despite the frustrating conclusion, Elias was pleased to have shown progress over the weekend and is hoping it doesn't mark an early end to his collaboration with Pramac Racing.
“I am very sorry for how this weekend ended,” he said. “Up until my crash I was gaining positions. I have to be happy with the progress we made in only three days with the Ducati. Every time I sat on the bike I managed to increase my confidence with the bike and I was able to improve my lap times, even if I was still learning the bike's reaction on this untraditional track.
“I didn't made a brilliant start, but I felt good. Unfortunately Pirro crashed in front of me, I briefly rode into the gravel but I was able to regain the confidence with my Ducati. I was planning to catch the riders ahead, but I braked too late and I lost the front finding myself off track.
“To conclude this weekend with a crash leaves a bad taste in my mouth, but I hope to have the opportunity in the near future to collaborate again and continue to improve. I would like to thank the Pramac Racing Team for allowing me to be part of the team at this Laguna GP, thanks for a wonderful experience.”
Team manager Francesco Guidotti, however, is not committing to any future plans, claiming Elias's early exit was a set-back in gathering valuable information.
“It was a tricky weekend. All the premier class riders had some trouble due to heavy fog, in particular during both the morning sessions. It was a shame, especially for us. We lost a lot of precious time, due to the poor visibility.