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First ever Moto2 champion Toni Elias returns to category with Aspar after poor MotoGP season

Toni EliasInaugural Moto2 champion Toni Elias is to return to the category with Aspar in 2012 after his unsuccessful second stint in MotoGP.

It is the second time that Elias has dropped back to the world championship's secondary class. He contested the first ever Moto2 season with Gresini in 2010 after ending up without a MotoGP ride for the season, and went on to win the title and earn a MotoGP comeback with LCR Honda. But Elias struggled to get to grips with LCR's bike and was only 15th in the standings.

He will therefore step back to Moto2 again for 2012, rejoining Aspar - his 250cc team in 2002 and '03.

"Many years have passed since then but I'll work with the same technical team, and I know they have great potential," said Elias. "Added to that is the fact the bike is very strong. We'll work extremely hard throughout the winter to be ready for next season, and I think we can have a very good campaign.

"We fought for the title together in 2003 and in the end we weren't able to get it, so we have unfinished business there."

Elias' team-mate will be current 125cc champion Nico Terol, who steps up after claiming the title with Aspar this season.

After taking Julian Simon to the runner-up spot behind Elias in Moto2's debut season in 2010, Aspar had a tough 2011 Moto2 campaign spoilt by injuries for Simon.

The team has yet to announce its MotoGP line-up for 2012, when it switches from a satellite Ducati to a CRT bike. Aleix Espargaro and Randy de Puniet are tipped to be its riders.

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LCR confirms Elias' departure