Alice Team boss Paolo Campinoti is hoping he can persuade Toni Elias to remain with the satellite Ducati outfit following the Spaniard´s two recent podium finishes.
Following a difficult start to the year Toni Elias is one of the form riders in the MotoGP World Championship at present, with his Brno and Misano rostrum runs making him hot property in the rider market.
The likeable Barcelona man initially struggled to settle with new employers Alice Team at the beginning of the year, as he – like fellow new arrivals at Ducati Marco Melandri and Sylvain Guintoli – failed to get to grips with the Desmosedici GP8 early in the season.
Disqualification in a difficult home GP at Barcelona was a low point for the former Honda Gresini man, but some long discussions with Ducati Corse boss Filippo Preziosi at the post-race Catalunya test and some subsequent machinery updates have turned Elias´ season around.
A good ride to seventh place at Laguna Seca has been followed up by two excellent showings at the last two rounds, moving Elias up to twelfth in the general standings with the top ten well within his grasp.
Alice Team boss Paolo Campinoti, who took over the reigns from Luis d´Antin earlier this season, is understandably delighted with the 25 year-old´s form.
The Italian manager commented, `Fortunately this good period we are having goes on and I hope we can continue this in the future. He is improving race by race and this was another good one. It was a good fight. It is very good for us to keep going in this way.´
On Elias´ upturn in form Campinoti added, `I think Toni is more confident on the bike and he has really improved. I think it is normal to have a few problems at the beginning so hopefully in the future he will continue like this.´
Elias has been linked with a possible move onto Kawasaki machinery in 2009 and himself joked, `I am free if somebody wants me´ after the race at Misano on Sunday, but Campinoti wants to retain his services if possible – whereas Sylvain Guintoli is unlikely to feature for the team next season.
Campinoti said of the situation, `It is not clear yet. I am doing my best to confirm Toni, but with the other rider it is too early to decide. It is not so probable that Sylvain will remain with us.