Toni Elias to replace injured Hector Barbera at Laguna Seca
After a trip of eight races around the European soil, the MotoGP World Championship riders take their second intercontinental fly of the season this weekend to the Red Bull US Grand Prix. The iconic Laguna Seca circuit in California is ready to welcome the only the Premier Class paddock (the Moto2 and 125cc classes sitting this event out), for the first of the two US rounds on the 2012 calendar.
Unfortunately, Pramac rider Héctor Barberà will miss out on this first American round, due to his recent training incident when he fractured the left fibula and tibia. Héctor underwent successful surgery at the Instituto Universitario USP Dexeus last Sunday. The unlucky Spaniard already began rehabilitation and will likely be able to race again in 4 or 6 weeks as Doctor Mir, a specialist surgeon who carried out the operation, said after the surgery.
Héctor will be replaced by Spaniard rider Toni Elias who already rode for the Pramac Racing Team in 2008, achieving two podiums in Brno and in Misano. The 29-year-old made his international racing debut in the 125cc World Championship in 2000, finishing 3rd in 2001 and taking his first win in the Dutch TT at the prestigious Assen circuit. In the following years, Toni took the inaugural Moto2 title at the Malaysian Grand Prix with three rounds to spare. This year, Toni was riding with the Aspar Team aboard on Suter machine in the Moto2 class, but recently split with the team on friendly terms (we reported). Now he has the opportunity to show his potential for a race, at the spectacular Laguna Seca circuit.
Laguna Seca sits on the side of a hill just outside the coastal town of Monterey, a couple of hours south of San Francisco. The sometimes intense dry heat, unpredictable asphalt and anti-clockwise layout provide a break from the norm and the riders are forced to adapt their style somewhat after a summer on the fast and wide European tracks. The track boasts some of the most spectacular elevation changes and dramatic corners on the World Championship circuits, the most notorious of which is the infamous corkscrew.
During this American weekend Toni will have the support of two very important and special guests of the Pramac Racing Team: Chris MacClugage and his wife Rachel. Mr. MacClugage is considered the best jet sky rider ever, demonstrated by the 15 World Jet Sky Championships he won during his career. And to be a World Champions is also a familiar feeling for his wife Rachel who won a Jet Sky World Championship Title in 2009. This year the winning MacClugages family will arrive on Friday, coming with their first heir Little Mac to support and root for the Green Energy Team.
Source: Pramac Racing Team Press Release