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Moto2: Elias 'not worried' by gap to top
22 February 2013
Inaugural 2010 Moto2 champion Toni Elias insists he and Blusens Avintia are not worried about being left outside the top ten in the opening official tests of the year.
Elias, who returned to Moto2 from MotoGP in 2011, has been without a podium since his title winning year. The Spaniard is preparing for his first season with the Avintia team and first full season with a Kalex chassis.
The former MotoGP race winner was 14th overall at Valencia, then disappointed by the bad weather on days one and three at Jerez, setting the 17th quickest time (+2sec) on the dry second day.
“This test was not as productive as we hoped because of the weather, but it has been positive for improving in the wet and we leave Jerez with lots of information in those conditions,” said Elias.
Elias added that the true picture will only emerge at the final Jerez test, when official race engines will be used.
“Maybe in dry the result is not very 'apparent' but the team and I are not worried. In the last test before leaving for Qatar all of us will ride under the same conditions and then we will see where each one is,” he said.
“Although we still have to improve in some aspects to be totally competitive, I am quite sure that the distance from rivals is not the one that it seems.
“We have had to coordinate the way of working with a new technician, a new bike, a new working group and with myself, that I am also new in the team! But we are more united every day.”
Rookie team-mate Kyle Smith was 26th out of the 31 riders overall in the dry at Jerez, but a competitive eleventh fastest on the wet final day.
“It has been a pity that the rain did not allow us to work more, but it was not bad for me to ride in wet and to start to know the reactions of my new bike under these circumstances,” said the Briton.
“The first day I felt very comfortable in wet. I think we made good lap times, taking into account that we did not want to risk and have a crash, and you know that in water you can improve lap by lap depending on how much you want to risk, so I am happy.
“Yesterday, the only day in dry conditions, I rode very well in the morning and later we made several changes on the bike that did not give the expected results. It is also true that
“I am not used to training so much and at the end of the day I do not have enough concentration to keep trying things and to be able to define. But it is a matter of time and getting the required pace.
“Today [day three] it has rained again and we have not been able to progress in the dry, but I am happy about how we are doing and I want to return to Jerez – hopefully without rain - to finish the work in the last test before Qatar.”