The 2013 Moto2 rider line up is proving to be rather fluid. The latest in a series of changes to the line up is the departure of Toni Elias from the Blusens Avintia Moto2 team, after a season of disappointing results: the 2010 Moto2 champion’s best finish this year was a 9th place at Jerez.
Elias is part of a chain reaction encompassing three different paddocks, and stretching into 2014. The catalyst was Michel Fabrizio, who is leaving his Red Devils Roma team in World Superbikes with immediate effect. Fabrizio has had a positively mediocre season so far, his only podium coming at the season opener at Phillip Island, a great disappointment as the Italian started as an outsider for the title.
After financial disagreements with the team, which arose at the Silverstone round of World Superbikes, according to GPOne.com, Fabrizio and the team decided to part ways before the season was over, rather than at the end.
Elias will now replace Fabrizio at the Red Devils Roma team for the final four rounds of the year, at Istanbul, Laguna Seca, Magny-Cours and Jerez, with an option to continue in 2014, should his debut be a success, according to Spanish website Motocuatro.com.
How successful Elias will be remains to be seen. The Spaniard has had a miserable time in both MotoGP and Moto2 since winning the inaugural Moto2 championship in 2010, never appearing on the podium since his championship year. Paddock consensus is that Elias’ peculiar riding style requires a special rear tire to succeed, something which he has not had since the introduction of the spec tire in MotoGP in 2009.
Elias seized the opportunity offered in the first year of Moto2 to take advantage of his racecraft and experience to win the title. With each new season the Moto2 bikes improved, and Elias slipped down the field. Elias tested a World Superbike BMW at Misano in 2011, but his times then were a long way off the front. Given more time on the bike, he should be able to make some progress.
The man Elias is replacing already has a temporary ride. Michel Fabrizio is said to be replacing Johnny Rea at Pata Honda, after the Ulsterman broke his left femur at Nurburgring. Rea crashed on a patch of oil left by Federico Sandi’s Pedercini Kawasaki, an incident which should have caused Race Direction to red flag the race. Rea is likely to be out until the end of the season, offering Fabrizio the opportunity to ride the last four races on the Pata Honda.
Fabrizio will hope to reestablish his WSBK credentials, in the hope of securing a better ride in 2014. Most of the good WSBK rides for next season are already locked up, but with the names of Johnny Rea and Eugene Laverty doing the rounds in the MotoGP paddock, there could be seats available.
Elias’ Moto2 seat with the Blusens Avintia team is to be taken by the Argentinian rider Ezequiel Iturrioz, currently racing with the MR Griful team in the Spanish CEV Moto2 championship. Iturrioz is currently 13th in the Spanish championship, his best result an eighth place in Aragon.
This article was originally published on MotoMatters, and is republished here on Asphalt & Rubber with permission by the author.