De Angelis And Elias Still In Contention For 2010 Scot Honda Ride

Uncertainty continues as to who will fill the final seat on the 2010 MotoGP grid. In the early hours of today, several sections of the Spanish media were reporting that the Scot Honda ride had gone to Alex de Angelis, leaving Toni Elias riding for the Pons team in Moto2. But news is emerging that the deal is not yet completely finalized.

According to the Catalonian sports daily, the Scot Honda team have asked Toni Elias to delay his decision for 48 hours. The Spaniard has reportedly penciled a deal with the Pons team to ride their Kalex Moto2 bike, his hand forced once it looked like the government of San Marino would step in to support Alex de Angelis.

But in recent days, the negotiations seem to have stalled. Speaking on San Marino television, Fabio Berardi, the San Marino Secretary of Sport and Tourism made the point that riders need sponsorship to obtain a ride these days, and that the government of the city state would very much like to see De Angelis, who was born in the Republic, on a bike in San Marino colors. At the same time, Berardi emphasized that in the current economic climate, it would be very difficult to justify hugely increasing their financial commitments to motorcycle racing, and that help would be needed to raise the extra sponsorship needed.

The pendulum, which has been swinging in De Angelis' direction over the past couple of weeks, may be slowing a little. Probability would still seem to favor the Scot Honda MotoGP bike going to the man from San Marino over Toni Elias, but a deal is still not quite done. De Angelis has sponsorship in his favor, as well as the fact that he races under the flag of San Marino. Although the tiny republic is part of Italy in everything but name, De Angelis would add another nationality to the grid, leaving the count at 5 Spaniards and 5 Italians. That academic distinction may not hold much water in the real world, but it may be just large enough on paper to gain the favor of Dorna and the FIM over Toni Elias, whose nationality cannot be changed from Spanish through any form of machinations. Despite being declared "a nation" in the most recent draft of the regional constitution, Catalonia is still a part of Spain, and its citizens (such as Toni Elias) race under the Spanish flag.

Gabor Talmacsi's bid to retain the bike he took over from Yuki Takahashi has apparently been vetoed by HRC, the Hungarian failing to be competitive enough to deserve the ride. 

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not quite sure how much money is actually going to be pumped into that scot honda team, but it seems like they're not doing well financially, hence the decision to field (and continue to field despite really bad results) talmacsi

seems like they're only going to be able to afford a very basic honda package with limited support, both of them would be stupid to take the ride just to stay in motogp, they need to look longer term

what's going to look better for elias? another failed year in motogp which would basically end his chance of ever riding in the class again, or being one of the strongest contenders in moto2 and probably fighting for wins?

unless someone comes in with a sackful of cash it's always going to end in failure

[...the government of the city state would very much like to see De Angelis, who was born in the Republic, on a bike in San Marino colors.]

That'll probably clinch it then. He's not a bad choice, really, although ability-wise it seems like a coin toss to me -- De Angelis has outperformed Elias lately, and is 7th overall, but only 5 points separates him from Elias, who's 11th.

...torpedo manufacturer?

Although I'm inclined to agree with hulmerist, I keep finding myself wondering what was happening last year when Dovizioso took that bike to a higher placement (and on Michelin tires, don't forget!) than he has this year on a factory bike.  If that bike next year would be the same as the one Elias is riding this year (since Sachsenring), then he stands to get off to a better start and have a not-so-bad season.

Is that better than being a front-runner in the inaugural year of Moto2?  I don't know...

mr emmett will probably correct me on this, but i seem to remember reading somewhere dovi had a honda tech in his garage for 2008

he'd been with honda since 2002 don't forget, they would've wanted him to do well and probably had him lined up as haydens replacement before he came into the class

And Gabor Talmacsi has been complaining, saying that part of his problem has been that he doesn't have an HRC tech in his garage to help him.