Spanish journalist Mela Chercoles suggests in an article, published in AS today, that the race at Mugello this weekend might have been the last of Toni Elias with the LCR Honda team.
Speculation of a possible mid-season replacement for Elias has been ripe from very early in the year when it became clear how far off the pace the current Moto2 world champion is in the MotoGP class and with no sign of considerable improvement. Elias has qualified last for most races this season and been firmly stuck to the back of the field with a considerable margin to the front runners.
The Mugello race – home race for most of the team members and team owner Lucio Cecchinello – now seems to have been the last straw for Elias to keep his seat with a lot of pressure on his shoulders to improve, but once again he qualified and finished the race in last position.
Chercoles reports that sources within in the team have confirmed that this might therefore be the last race Elias has done with the LCR team. Allegedly the relationship of Elias and his crew chief Christophe Bourguignon is not very good and Elias has been given an ultimatum until Laguna Seca, but the bad result from last weekend might have sped up the proceedings, since the home race was an important event for Cecchinello and the team and the disappointment about the once again poor result is big.
Furthermore, Chercoles writes that the decision to lay the rider from Manresa off might have already been taken as the team cancelled the test at Mugello yesterday, so Elias had to watch the action from the pitlane and in two or three days a final decision will be made, depending if the team can find a replacement rider.
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