A few hours before the first practice sessions on the Laguna Seca track, venue for the final round of the MotoAmerica season, Toni Elias has announced through his social media channels that next weekend will be the last one with Suzuki colours. News that arrived like a bolt from the blue in the paddock of the US series. Winner of the 2010 title in the Moto2 World Championship with Team Gresini's Moriwaki MD600, after a few up-and-down years between the intermediate class of the world championship, MotoGP and World Superbike, since 2016 the Spaniard has been permanently in the Honos Superbike series (formerly AMA Superbike) as part of Team Yoshimura.
While the first season proved to be an adaptation period to the bikes and the championship, which he concluded in third place just seven points behind the then triumphant Cameron Beaubier, 2017 saw him crowned champion dominating far and wide: in the 17 races held Elias picked up a phenomenal haul of 16 podiums including nine wins and seven second places.
With two second places in the next two seasons, always behind Beaubier, Yoshimura's farewell to racing at the end of 2019 forced the Spaniard to join Team M4 ECSTAR Suzuki. Starting late due to the health emergency linked to the spread of COVID-19, 2020 is proving to be rather short on satisfaction, with the Spaniard still looking to take his first win amidst crashes and various mechanical issues.
Hence the decision to publish the following on his official Instagram account today:
“I writing down these lines without any permission, just following my feelings…the next weekend will be my last race with Suzuki family. It’s been five years…we won a lot…32 wins, 60 podiums, 1 championship…to all the staff of Suzuki Motor of America…Yoshimura Racing…Team Hammer…to all my mechanics and crew chiefs, you guys been my family now my friends forever. Thank you for listen me, I’m not easy but we achieved what I wanted.”
Now many observers are already wondering if the three Californian races will be the last of Toni Elias' long career, which began in 1999, or if any team will want to give the "old lion of Manresa" a new chance.
“It’s the last race of my career or maybe not… it will depend of many things…I’m still very hungry for wins and fight for championships but this time I’ll let the destiny and universe play and decide for me.”
In any case, Toni Elias' life has definitely changed since he started racing in the top class of the United States of America.
“Thank you not only to support me this years of racing, you guys gave me the opportunity of my life…to live in USA where I meet my wife, where we have 3 wonderful kids and beautiful things coming.”