Ruben Xaus joins Toni Elias at Yamaha Tech3 - November 30th 2004
The French based Yamaha Tech3 team has announced its 2005 MotoGP World Championship rider line-up with Ruben Xaus joining fellow Spaniard and former GP 250 rider Toni Elias on the YZR-M1. Xaus, who signed a one-year deal with the Tech3 team, finished his Rookie MotoGP season in 11th place, after having scored points in 11 of the 16 round championship - a result which secured the 'Rookie of the Year' title for the former Superbike and Supersport rider. He is set to join Elias for his first test aboard the 2005 YZR-M1 in Malaysia next year - January 22.
Tech3 team Manager Hervè Poncharal had this to say about the two new rider signings: "After having signed Toni Elias we decided with our partners of the Altadis group, to complete the package by recruiting Ruben Xaus. Ruben not only showed consistency during the 2004 season, by finishing 11 MotoGPs, but he also produced an impressive third place finish at the Qatar Grand Prix."
After securing fourth place in the 2004 GP250 World Championship Elias sampled the 2004 YZR-M1 for the first time in a Valencia following the final round of the season. The young Spaniard is now looking forward to the season beginning in earnest.
"Elias is clearly a talent, evident from his impressive performance on the M1 during the Valencia test, and I'm sure he will make his mark in MotoGP in the not too distant future," explained Poncharal. "He is a very promising young rider who is showing a real enthusiasm for this new venture, which is just the injection of life our team needs.
"It is Elias' mix of youth, and the four-stroke experience that will come with Ruben which I believe will provide the balance for a successful season for the Tech3 team. We are confident that Xaus will take the next step in his MotoGP career and that we will see him fighting for more podium results in 2005, allowing Elias the opportunity to hone his skills aboard the more powerful M1 and develop into a future MotoGP Championship contender."