Catalunya : Konica Minolta Honda – Day Two
KONICA MINOLTA Honda took twelfth place in today's closely fought qualifying session for tomorrow's Catalan MotoGP race.
Team rider Shinya Nakano took around three-quarters of a second off his Friday time this afternoon,
but more crucially found a set-up for his Honda RC212V MotoGP machine that eradicated some of the chatter that has been affecting the front-end of his bike.
Today the conditions were very hot – with temperatures around the 30 degree Celsius mark and track temperatures around 50 degrees. Tomorrow it is expected that the hot weather will continue for the 25-lap race.
Gianluca Montiron – Team Manager KONICA MINOLTA Honda
“Unfortunately for us I think for Shinya wasn't able to use the two qualifying tyres to his best advantage. With the first tyre we had a problem when there was contact in the first corner between Shinya and another rider and then with the second tyre he made a small mistake in the first sector. Positively we were able to maintain a good rhythm and I think this will mean that Shinya will be able to be competitive with the second group of riders. At this stage in the season we have to concentrate and work hard with the technical package we have at our disposal. We are very confident in our Technical Partners and we think that soon we can work together to improve the package still further, but in the meantime every Team member will be trying 100% to get the best results we can.”
Shinya Nakano – Rider, KONICA MINOLTA Honda (50 laps – 1' 43.334”)
“With the tyres we have tested and the setting changes we have made the bike felt a little bit better today which is just what we were looking for. The problem we've had, with both chatter from the front-end of the bike and the actual getting the bike to turn itself has improved. The conditions were hot again today, but I'm pleased that I was able to improve my lap time and we've picked what I think is a good combination of race tyres for tomorrow. We had a little bit of bad luck with coming across a slower rider when I had the first, soft qualifying tyre on, but this happens.
The start will be important for us, but it is easy to overtake here, so from 12th on the grid I will be going for a top eight finish.”
Giulio Bernardelle – Technical Director, KONICA MINOLTA Honda
“This morning we tested some different front geometry settings. These were nothing new but they were what we tried at the start of the season. We found that this combination with the new Michelin front tyre lessened the problem of chatter and also helped with the turning of the bike, which was something that Shinya was looking for. In the afternoon we did some testing to finalise our choice for the race tyre for tomorrow and I'm quite confident as we have a good combination for front and rear that should work in the high temperatures that we have experienced today and should experience again tomorrow. We did have one bit of bad luck during our timed attack with the qualifying tyre as on his first run Shinya came into the first corner to find one of the Team Roberts bikes going very slowly, they touched and this spoiled our first qualifying tyre run. Despite this we are happier today as Shinya was able to make one or two runs consistently at a fairly good speed, so this is a big improvement for us.”
Konica Minolta Honda