Alice Ducati team boss Paolo Campinoti reveals that they are very keen to retain the in-form Tony Elias into 2009.

Toni Elias' recent upturn in form looks set to be rewarded with an extension of his Alice Ducati contract, team boss Paolo Campinoti has revealed.

The Spaniard had been touted as switching to the World Superbike Championship following a season beset with problems adapting to the Desmosedici GP8, a woe that has afflicted Marco Melandri and Sylvain Guintoli similarly.

However, with his breakthrough second place finish in Brno being followed up by a third in Misano, changes to the Ducati's settings have transformed both Elias' season and his stock.

Indeed, Campinoti, who resumed the role of team boss following the demise of Luis d'Antin in July, has hailed Elias for adjusting the bike into something he is far more confident with.

“Fortunately this good period we are having goes on and I hope we can continue this in the future,” he told the official MotoGP website. “He is improving race by race and this was another good one. It was a good fight. It is very good for us to keep going in this way.

“I think Toni is more confident on the bike and he has really improved. I think it is normal to have a few problems at the beginning so hopefully in the future he will continue like this.”

With Kawasaki said to be courting Elias for the third 'Aspar' ZX-RR, Campinoti has confirmed that they are eager to retain Toni for 2009. Guintoli, meanwhile, is all but certain to lose his ride with the team next year.

“It is not clear yet. I am doing my best to confirm Toni, but with the other rider it is too early to decide. It is not so probable that Sylvain will remain with us.”