Aiming for a really good result
Shinya Nakano and his KONICA MINOLTA Honda head to Germany and the Sachsenring this weekend for round 10 of the 2007 MotoGP championship.
With the season heading past the half-way stage, there are now two races in successive weeks
before the annual four-week summer break.
Shinya is looking forward to the first of the two races at the 2.3mile circuit of the Sachsenring. Last year, the 29-year-old finished sixth at the event, and back in 2001 – when the Japanese rider was Rookie of the Year in the 500cc class – he took third aboard a YZR500 Yamaha. Both Team and rider are hoping to continue with the improvements made to the KONICA MINOLTA RC212V, which at Assen saw them maintain some consistent lap times during the race.
The Sachsenring is one of the few anti-clockwise tracks that MotoGP visits. It is one of the slowest on the calendar but also quite hard on tyres, thanks to a successive series of six left-hand corners where the riders are hard on the throttle.
Following Sunday's race, the Team will head immediately for the USA for Laguna Seca in California – another anti-clockwise track.
Gianluca Montiron – Team Manager KONICA MINOLTA Honda
“Every MotoGP race is a new challenge for us with the new 800cc bike. Sachsenring is a very spectacular circuit and one where the rider can really make the difference. I think that once more we will see lap-times and qualifying being very close. As I have said before, at the moment for us this is a transitory period, but our technical partner Michelin has been working hard, developing new products so I think that this along with improvements we made at Assen should help us towards a better result.
Let's hope for good weather so that Shinya and the Team can determine base-settings for the weekend as soon as possible. For the next two races we're hopeful of making more steps forward before the summer break when we will be starting negotiations for the 2008 season with our sponsors and partners.”
Shinya Nakano – Rider, KONICA MINOLTA Honda
“I'm sure the whole Team as well as myself want a really good result from the German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring. That is what I will be aiming for. On the positive side I really enjoy the track and the layout. It's not a particularly fast track, but there are some fun corners and having had a fairly good result there last year as well as a rostrum in 2001, I'm hoping that this will help us for the coming weekend. After a number of races where the weather hasn't been very good and has changed from wet to dry, let's also hope that we will get some good, consistent weather for the whole race weekend!”
Giulio Bernardelle – Technical Director, KONICA MINOLTA Honda
“Sachsenring isn't a power circuit, but with the main straight being at the top of a hill and the finish line being at the very top, extra power is useful! The most important parts of the track are the long corners, where bike and rider stay for a long time on their side – this is a special characteristic of this track. A very positive point is that Shinya enjoys the track and has done well here before both on a 500cc GP and MotoGP machine. Also, we made some steps forward with our consistency at Assen and this, along with more development from Michelin to help suit Shinya's riding style, should help us into the top 10 – this is our target for the weekend.”
Konica Minolta Honda