MotoGP race winner and former Moto2 world champion Toni Elias has confirmed he is switching to the World Superbike Championship for the remainder of the 2013 season after agreeing terms to join Red Devils Roma Aprilia.
Calling time on a difficult season in the Moto2 World Championship aboard the Blusens Avintia Kalex, Elias will make his debut at this weekend's inaugural WSBK visit to the Istanbul Park circuit in Turkey riding the satellite RSV4.
Taking the place vacated by Michel Fabrizio, Elias is in line to compete in the final four rounds of the season, three of which are new to the WSBK calendar but familiar to the ex-MotoGP rider. A new phase in his lengthy career, Elias is excited about this latest opportunity.
“I've been wanting to try a Superbike for a while and the Aprilia is one of the most competitive bikes, at the moment. I'm pleased for the interest and for the kindness of the team and I will put all my commitment to return all the trust.
“I find a championship which is coming to an end for 2013 with many aggressive riders in the hunt. I will try anyway to find my pace in order to show my value.
A hugely experienced racer, Elias has started 223 races in a GP career spanning more than 14 years with the Spaniard famously claiming his one and only victory at MotoGP level in 2006 at the Portuguese Grand Prix.
Going on to become the inaugural champion of the intermediate Moto2 World Championship in 2010, an underwhelming return to MotoGP in 2011 with LCR Honda has seen Elias return to Moto2 level the past two seasons, though is yet to return to the podium.
With this in mind, Elias will change path to follow in the wheeltracks of Carlos Checa, Marco Melandri and Max Biaggi, all former MotoGP race winners that have gone on to enjoy substantial success at World Superbike level.
Though it will be the first time he has ridden the Aprilia RSV4, Elias does have some Superbike experience under his belt having tested a BMW S1000RR for BMW Italia in 2011 when he was being lined up as a possible replacement for the injured James Toseland.
the read an exclusive Q&A with Toni Elias looking back on his MotoGP career and looking ahead to World Superbikes.