Brian J Nelson

Toni Elias Samples Sonoma Raceway

MotoAmerica Superbike points leader burns laps on a sportbike

Paul Carruthers 

Yoshimura Suzuki's Toni Elias has now ridden every track on the 2017 MotoAmerica Series schedule as he got the chance to ride a stock GSX-R1000 around Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California, on Monday, June 12.

The 2010 Moto2 World Champion, who currently leads the Motul Superbike point standings after four of 10 rounds, got the chance to ride around the 2.52-mile road course with an eye toward making his debut there, August 11-13, in Round 7 of the 2017 MotoAmerica Series as Superbike racing makes a return to the Northern California racetrack after a hiatus that began in 2012.

The scenic 12-turn track that sits in the heart of California wine country has a reputation for being difficult to learn. Elias, however, came away impressed.

“It’s very, very technical and very difficult to understand the lines and where you have to sacrifice a little bit to then be faster," Elias said of Sonoma. "I like the up and downs and the blind corners, especially the last area, the last corner. That’s a hard braking point. The track is very different. For the moment, I enjoy and I would like to ride there with my race bike. It helped me a lot to ride there on the stock bike.”

With this being his second season in MotoAmerica, Elias has now sampled all 10 tracks on the schedule after a two-day test at Pittsburgh International Race Complex in May.

The MotoAmerica Series heads to the Utah Motorsports Campus on the outskirts of Salt Lake City, June 23-25, for Round 5. Elias leads the title chase over Cameron Beaubier, 160-146.