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MOTOGP NEWS 

Upbeat Toni Elias thinks top 10 qualifying realistic after strong Friday at Valencia

Toni Elias, LCR Honda, Valencia 2011Toni Elias is optimistic that he can be very competitive in this weekend's Valencia Grand Prix, despite his morning form tailing off in this afternoon's second practice session.

The 2010 Moto2 champion has had an extremely tough season on his return to MotoGP with LCR Honda, taking only four top 10 finishes and often running at the back of the field.

But he briefly led the way in Valencia's wet first practice session before ending up eighth.

"I think this morning I was in good condition," Elias told the official MotoGP website. "I felt good, I had a good feeling with the bike.

"I was always in the top three or top four - finally eighth position, but we could have been a little bit faster."

Practice two proved harder, with Elias crashing and finishing the afternoon slowest of all.

"This afternoon everything went in a bad direction," he admitted. "On just the second or third lap I crashed, just when I started pushing.

"That bike was the right one. The second one, which I used afterwards, had a different geometry, which I didn't like. I didn't feel so much grip on the back wheel.

"We have to forget this afternoon."

He is optimistic that opening practice was more representative of his potential for this weekend.

"I think tomorrow if I can use the same bike as this morning, I think I will have the good feeling again," Elias said.

"It could be a good opportunity for us. The target is to try to be in the top 10. If we do it, it could be a good race for us."

Daytona Competition
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