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Inaugural Moto2 Champion Tony Elias will step back up to the top level next year, following the announcement he has inked a deal with LCR Honda for the 2011 MotoGP World Championship. Elias, who competed in MotoGP from 2005-2009, is delighted to have earned a second chance.
“I am thrilled to be back in MotoGP and I am happy to race with the LCR Team. I want to thank Lucio [Cecchinello] and Honda for their trust and I am anxious to return," Elias said.
“I have known Lucio for a long time as we raced together in the 125cc class from 1999 to 2001; although his team is not an official one it is very professional and well organised. Being their only rider is a further warranty for me”.
Team Manager Lucio Cecchinello added: “The chance to work with Toni Elias is a big incentive for us because this is a very important moment for presenting to our sponsors and partners a new project.
"The nice thing is that Toni and I raced together in the 125cc class; I was at the end of my career and he was at the beginning. I remember he was a very, very hard rider and very resolute. As time goes by he has improved very much and I think he is a very talented rider with a lot of experience. All the staff and I give him our warmest welcome.”
Cecchinello meanwhile paid homage to outgoing rider Randy de Puniet, who has been with the team for the last three years.
“I want to thank Randy for his precious cooperation and for the several successes we have shared in the 250cc class and in the MotoGP class in the last five years together,” Lucio summed-up.
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