This weekend's Valencia season finale marks the 18th and final time that Toni Elias and Sylvain Guintoli will line-up in Alice colours for the Pramac Ducati MotoGP team.
Elias, the only Ducati rider other than Casey Stoner to take a podium finish this season, will switch back to Gresini Honda for 2009 - on a factory RCV no less - but wants to close the 2008 season in style at his third home round.
"Sincerely Valencia isn't one of my favourite tracks, but been in Spain it is always a special event for me," said Toni, who sits twelfth in the championship but has the potential to reach ninth on Sunday. "The supporters are incredible and they always help me to give a little more. I would like to conclude this season with a good result also to thanks Pramac Racing, Alice, Ducati and the all Team for the opportunity given me this year.”
Elias finished tenth in last year's race, which marked an excellent qualifying performance by Guintoli - the Frenchman concluding his rookie season with Tech 3 Yamaha by claiming fifth on the grid, before finishing eleventh in the race.
Guintoli will leave MotoGP for BSB in 2009, with the highlight of a tough 2008 season undoubtedly being sixth in the soaking wet German Grand Prix - without traction control!
"Next year I will compete in another category, I am sad to leave the MotoGP paddock, but I will do my best to be able to comeback in the future," said Sylvain. "This will be an important race for me to show that I can do well also in this category. Last year I have done a good performance here and I hope to do even better this year. I really like the Valencia circuit and my principle objective will be to enjoy in the best way this weekend."
Technical director Fabiano Sterlacchini is hoping both riders can leave Alice on a high.
"I know that they will take different directions next season, and I am sorry about it, but I expect the maximum from them even if this is the last race with us," he said. "Toni didn't go too well in the last two races and I want from him, as we are racing in his country, a strong reaction. Sylvain will leave, at least for next season, the MotoGP world and I hope that he will do it by conquering a good result."
Pramac Racing has signed 250cc star Mika Kallio and Ducati test rider Niccolo Canepa for the 2009 MotoGP season.