Mugello : Honda Konica Minolta - Day 2
The changeable weather conditions played havoc once more with the timed sessions at the Italian GP today. Rain fell before the MotoGP qualifying hour was due to start, only for the sunshine to come out during the session and dry the
3.2 mile circuit. Then – with half of the session left and just as the conditions were ready for dry tyres – the heavens opened once more.
After this five-minute shower, the sun came out again and conditions improved slowly so that some riders were able to improve their positions in the last minutes of the session. Shinya will start the race from 12th position, third highest Michelin runner and first of the satellite Hondas. Similar weather is predicted for tomorrow.
Gianluca Montiron – Team Manager : “Today was a very exciting qualifying as the weather was very changeable and it was not easy for the riders in these conditions. Obviously we would have wanted a better position, but then when it is half-wet and half-dry it is very easy to crash! I think Shinya's result has some positive points for us as we are the third Michelin rider behind Valentino Rossi and Dani Pedrosa and we are the first Honda satellite team. Conditions will be important tomorrow as if it is dry no-one has had a lot of dry set-up time. We need to discuss our team tactics tonight and have them in place if the weather changes during the race itself. I think Shinya's feeling with the bike in wet and dry is coming better and better and even if we get away in the middle group, Mugello's layout is such that it is easy to overtake people.
Shinya Nakano : “Rain, sunshine, rain, sunshine! Very strange weather today! I think if it had not rained in the middle of the qualifying session the end would have been completely dry. When it rained we came into the pits and waited for a while to see what the weather was going to do. As it dried towards the end of the timed session I tried a medium compound wet weather Michelin and made my best lap with this tyre. The conditions do make it difficult to choose the correct compound wet tyre, but I do have a good feeling on a half-wet, half-dry track and we did find a good dry tyre in the morning, so I'm confident in both these conditions. The only conditions you don't want here are monsoon or full-wet conditions as it's a high-speed circuit and the rear will spin on these GP machines even down the straight in the high gears!”
Giulio Bernardelle – Technical Director : “Today was very busy for us thanks to the changing weather conditions! With the weather changing every five minutes it was difficult to decide when to make a timed attack. It's normal to use the softest tyre at the end of a session but in these conditions this was not possible, so we used a medium compound wet tyre which maybe was a good choice but Shinya only had time for one lap on it. If we had three or four more minutes I think we could have improved. We are satisfied that the setting on the bike is coming better and the feeling is pretty good in the wet. Also, in the morning we tested in dry conditions and we have finalised our set-up and tyre choice for a dry race, also. The weather is supposed to be worse tomorrow than today but the situation will remain changeable.”
Honda Konica Minolta