Donington : Konica Minolta Honda – Day Two
Shinya Nakano took his KONICA MINOLTA Honda to 11th place on the grid for tomorrow's British Grand Prix.
The 29-year-old Japanese rider enjoyed much better conditions than yesterday around the 2.5-mile Derbyshire circuit,
with the rain staying away for both sessions.
This morning the Team made changes to the gearbox and suspension and also tested tyres before the timed qualifying in the afternoon. With small set-up improvements, Shinya was able to improve his dry lap time from the morning and get into the top ten with just five minutes to go. In the dying seconds of the qualifying hour, he was bumped down to 11th overall, missing out on 10th place by just seven-thousandths of a second.
Rain is forecast for tomorrow's 30-lap race.
Gianluca Montiron – Team Manager KONICA MINOLTA Honda
“Today's dry conditions I think have made things difficult for everyone after yesterday's very wet weather. No-one had any dry time until this morning meaning that many riders had problems and some even crashed. For us we know that tomorrow we need to be making many consistent laps and Shinya needs to get into a good rhythm. At the moment I think we need more time to find a good set-up that gives Shinya the confidence in the technical package that we have so he can push harder. I think the key for the race is consistency, if Shinya get a good rhythm going then we hope to not lose any places from our grid position or maybe pick up a place or two.”
Shinya Nakano – Rider, KONICA MINOLTA Honda (53 laps – 1' 29.
“More changeable weather conditions! But saying that I have been pleased that it's been dry. This morning we tried three new tyres for the first time and we struggled a little. This is because this is our first time here with the 800cc Honda and my first time here on Michelin tyres in the dry, so it took time to adjust. We made some gearbox adjustments also, we normally do this on the first day, but the conditions have been so different we needed to do it again. I am a little disappointed with the final grid position, we are still not up with the top group, but we have closed the gap a little and that is important. When you have a bike that works well around Donington, it's one of the most exciting tracks to ride around, so it should be a very thrilling race!”
Giulio Bernardelle – Technical Director, KONICA MINOLTA Honda
“Compared to this morning we have improved quite a lot, so that is very positive. We seem to be able to work a little better in these kinds of conditions – this afternoon the track temperature was around 30 degrees Celsius. From the test after Catalunya we have been working hard on the front suspension. I think the new settings we have found are an improvement and the new construction front tyre from Michelin has also helped us, so now Shinya's feeling with the front of the bike is better and for this reason he can push harder. I think if Shinya pushes hard and is consistent there's a chance he has the potential for the top 10, but this will mean him pushing at his maximum.”
Konica Minolta Honda