Tony Elias may have had a difficult start this season but since then, he has really picked up the pace. His performances at Brno and Misano have again pulled him into the fray as one of the most wanted riders for next season. The Spaniard was initially in a bit of a fix with his performances for Alice Team and along with team mates Marco Melandri and Sylvain Guintoli, was facing problems adapting to the Ducati Desmosedici GP8. His season hit an all-time low when he was disqualified at Barcelona. But post the disqualification, long rounds of discussion with the management, engineers and team mates; along with some change in the armoury, have led to a major turnaround.
Laguna Seca saw a revival as Elias came seventh in the overall standings. His strong displays moved him to 12th place in the championship standings. Paolo Campinoti, Alice Team principal, was delighted with the Spaniard’s performances and said,”Fortunately this good period we are having goes on and I hope we can continue this in the future. He is improving race by race and this was another good one. It was a good fight. It is very good for us to keep going in this way.”
Campinoti added, “I think Toni is more confident on the bike and he has really improved. I think it is normal to have a few problems at the beginning so hopefully in the future he will continue like this.” There were rumours that Elias may be looking to move into Kawasaki for the 2009 season, especially after Elias jokingly said, “I am free if somebody wants me”. However, Campinoti wants to keep Elias on for another season. Sylvain Guintoli might have to look for another place though. “It is not clear yet. I am doing my best to confirm Toni, but with the other rider it is too early to decide. It is not so probable that Sylvain will remain with us”, said Campinoti.