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Elias struggles to impress in WSB debut

Toni Elias laps slower than test riders in BMW Italia ride

TONI ELIAS crossed over to the World Superbike paddock to join BMW Italia for the two-day test at Misano, ending as one of the slowest riders.

Something of an impromptu audition for Elias, the test did not go to plan as the Spaniard lapped the circuit with a best of 1:38.1 - two seconds off the fastest time set by Marco Melandri and slower than BMW test rider Steve Martin, who managed a 1:37.1.

The function of the first day was to acclimatise Elias in his first experience on a production-based race bike, although hampered by a small crash he spent the day setting the correct positions on the bike and gaining an understanding of the adjustments of the WSB-spec S1000RR. On the second day the Moto2 champion was able to lap for a few hours in order to gain confidence on both the bike and the Pirelli tyres, but leaving after the morning session to travel to Aragon for his MotoGP commitment with LCR Honda.

Speaking to Motosprint, Elias explained the why the debut was difficult: “The tank is so big that I can’t reach the handlebars and levers with sufficient force and can’t control the bike. The first thing I’d need would be smaller gas tank and a different riding position: foot pegs, controls, handlebars.

“I’m not used to riding production based bikes, they move a lot and I can’t open the throttle. I tried stiffening the suspensions, but the BMW become even more difficult to ride. I needed more time to adapt the bike to my physical and riding characteristics.

"The BMW has a great engine but the power comes suddenly and isn’t easy to manage. The Superbike is more powerful than I imagined.”

Following the test and according to Motosprint the interest in Elias from the World Superbike paddock has waned, as BMW Italia no longer look to hire the LCR Honda rider to take the vacated seat of Toseland. Elias was also a candidate for Castrol Honda to replace Ruben Xaus and join Jonathan Rea who has confirmed a place with the Ten Kate squad.

Via Twowheelsblog