Toni Elias was surprised and disappointed to qualify on the back row of the grid for the United States Grand Prix at Laguna Seca. Saturday got off to a terrible start for the LCR Honda rider with a crash in final practice and subsequently, he was almost three seconds off the pace in the afternoon
The Spaniard appeared dejected when he spoke after qualifying, commenting that the situation was all too familiar for him.
“We are back to our “standard” situation and obviously we were expecting something better. Anyway I want to a massive thank you to the guys because they worked hard even today because we had to change the bike geometry during the session. We are struggling with the same front issue that was the cause of my crash this morning. If you crash here you lose confidence because it's a very tricky surface. I love lapping here but in this condition it's not fun for me. We will try to fix the bike in tomorrow's warm up trying to improve front and rear grip for the race.”
Elias will be joined on the back row by Ben Bostrom who will compete in his first ever Grand Prix. The American will also ride in the AMA Superbike Championship and was taken aback by the difference between the two machines.
“The two bikes couldn't be more opposite: tyres, brakes, chassis…it's unbelievable! There's a lot to learn and I was trying to improve every time I get on the bike step by step because I do not want crash the bike. It's nice to have Lucio (Cecchinello) and the guys also watching so they can see the difference. The adjustments we have made this afternoon were better and our lap time improved a little bit. Probably I could have gone faster but I made race distance in the last session and I am racing two different bikes this week end so I am pretty satisfied so far.”