Sachsenring : Konica Minolta Honda – Day One
Shinya Nakano and his KONICA MINOLTA Honda made a steady start in today's closely-fought combined practice sessions for Sunday's German MotoGP race.
Morning practice was hit once more by rain, which has been the hallmark
of the 2007 season so far. Eventually conditions improved but Shinya suffered from a lack of feedback from the front-end of his RC212V. In the afternoon some improvements were made and Shinya slashed 1.3 seconds from his time, obtaining 17th place in the combined free practice time.
Once more the combined times were close – with less than one second covering 3rd to 17th positions. Now the Team are confident they can improve things further in time for the important qualifying hour tomorrow afternoon.
Gianluca Montiron – Team Manager KONICA MINOLTA Honda
“At the start today it was not so easy for Shinya, but by second practice the situation was much better and his lap time improved considerably. We need to improve again tomorrow – maybe by as much as one second, maybe more. The important point is that Shinya needs more speed in the middle of the corner and he can't hold the line through the corner that he wants to and this is where he's losing time. We will be working hard to improve things for him tomorrow. For the race, tyres and how they last will be very important, as there's a series of six, left-hand turns that could degrade the tyres considerably over the course of the race. This will make it a very interesting race for the fans!”
Shinya Nakano – Rider, KONICA MINOLTA Honda (55 laps – 1' 24.208”)
“It has been very close today! The morning session was very difficult, but we changed our front geometry setting and I got better feeling from the front-end of the bike in the afternoon.
I improved a lot in time, but then so did everybody else! The balance of the bike is OK but I want a little more stability under braking and I am still running a little wide in the corners, but I'm sure we will improve. I enjoy the track and have had some good results here so I'm confident.”
Giulio Bernardelle – Technical Director, KONICA MINOLTA Honda
“So this morning we started with not so good weather conditions again as it was raining a little in practice and also the temperature was not as high as we expected. We did some work on our machine but basically the feedback from Shinya was that he didn't feel that the bike was very stable at the front-end. We changed the geometry settings this afternoon as well as suspension settings and things were much better. If we look at the times we just need to cut around half-a-second to be in the middle part of the group. If we can achieve this, we're not so bad for the race so we will do our best to make this improvement. Tomorrow the weather is supposed to be warmer than today but not so stable. We have no problem with tyre choices so we just need to make some small modifications to the machine settings to make Shinya run his lap times a little more consistently.”
Konica Minolta Honda