The rider lineup in Moto2 continues to be fluid. Immediately after the Mugello Moto2 race, the Mapfre Aspar team issued a press release, announcing that Toni Elias would be leaving the team with immediate effect. The parting was agreed by mutual consent, the Aspar team disappointed with the results they have achieved with the 2010 Moto2 World Champion, while Elias has struggled to get to grips with the Suter chassis since he returned to Moto2 at the start of the year. A switch of chassis was not an option, so Elias and the team decided to separate.
There is as yet no official announcement of a replacement, though it is expected to be Jordi Torres, who raced for Aspar last year several times. As for Elias, it is uncertain where the Spaniard will land, though given the current rider churn in Moto2, it seems certain that space will open up somewhere soon.
Elias' split from Aspar comes hot on the heels of a number of other replacements. Mike di Meglio was forced to depart the Speed Master team over financial difficulties, and was replaced by Alessandro Andreozzi. Di Meglio was soon shipped in to replace Alex Lundh at MZ, a replacement which prompted an exchange of press releases from both parties blaming each other. More changes are likely, given both the dire financial situation of some teams and the disappointing results from a number of riders. It could be a rather hectic summer break for the Moto2 class.
Below is the press release from Aspar announcing the break:
MAPFRE ASPAR TEAM AND TONI ELÍAS PART WAYS
Two parties arrive at an agreement to rescind contract. Spanish rider will look for alternative rides for the the rest of the 2012 season.
The MAPFRE Aspar Team, the most successful team in the lower and intermediate classes, joined forces with 2010 Moto2 World Champion Toni Elías with the expectation of challenging for the 2012 title.
Following nine Grands Prix, the MAPFRE Aspar Team and Toni Elías have come to a mutual decision to terminate their professional association. The union between the two parties has not lived up to initial expectations and the Spaniard is now free to look for alternative teams with which to contest the rest of the campaign.
At the conclusion of the Italian round of the Moto2 series comes a summer break, in which the MAPFRE Aspar Team will have sufficient time to look for a replacement rider to accompany Nico Terol in their intermediate class project. The team thank Toni Elías for his collaboration in the first half of this season and wish him well in his future endeavours.
Jorge Martínez 'Aspar': "We got behind Toni Elías right from the start of the 2012 preseason. Ever since his previous stint in the team, back in the 250cc class, he has shown that he is a fast rider. In 2010 he won the Moto2 title. The aim of the MAPFRE Aspar Team is always to be the top team in the intermediate class and a clear contender for the World Championship. This year we had put great faith in Toni's ability to bring us the title, but in the end things didn't turn out as we had expected. We have both decided to part ways; we feel that this decision is best for both Toni and for the MAPFRE Aspar Team."
Toni Elías: "I am sorry not to have been able to continue with the MAPFRE Aspar Team. The team have given their all in preseason and in the season itself. We have always looked for solutions together to try and go fast with the Suter, but in the end we weren't able to find a way. The atmosphere in the garage and the relationship between the team and I has always been excellent, the mechanics have given their all to try and find solutions and Jorge has believed completely in me, but things haven't turned out as we had hoped. We've decided to terminate our collaboration; we are still at the midway point of the season and there is time for both of us to improve results separately."