“I'm feeling more comfortable”
Shinya Nakano and his KONICA MINOLTA Honda team made a great leap forward in performance during qualifying today in time for tomorrow's race at the Brno circuit in the Czech Republic.
Shinya cut nearly three seconds from his Friday
time to record a best lap of 1'57.969”, placing him 11th on the grid. With new parts fitted to the Team's Honda RC212V MotoGP bikes, it has been a race against time to find the optimum setting for the 800cc machines in time for tomorrow's 22-lap race.
Gianluca Montiron – Team Manager KONICA MINOLTA Honda
“Today we saw the set-up coming better on the bike and the lap time is much faster. Obviously some others have also moved forward. Tomorrow we need to use the warm-up to make some further improvement, which we hope will be allow Shinya to stay closer to the top group. We have received a lot of new specification equipment so we will stay on to test here on Monday to refine our settings for the final part of the season. Brno is a wide track, so it's not so difficult to overtake, but it's still important to get a good start. The first three or so laps are important as Shinya will need to be aggressive and get into a good rhythm. Both the Team and Shinya need to push hard at this point of the season for good results.”
Shinya Nakano – Rider, KONICA MINOLTA Honda (43 laps – 1' 57.969”)
“We've gone much better than yesterday. To be honest we expected a difficult session or two with the new parts as it obviously takes time to find the perfect set-up.
Today was an improvement as we've found a much better balance between the front and rear of the bike, so I'm feeling more comfortable. The improvement from the engine is very noticeable: it provides smoother acceleration and better engine braking. Overall, this makes the bike much easier to ride. The only problem we have now is a little chattering still from the front-end of the bike. This chattering effectively limits the corner entry and mid-corner speed, while the improved motor makes things easier for us than before on the corner exit. This chatter means I cannot push as I would like in the corner, but we have some options to try and a different tyre to look at tomorrow. We are hoping that tomorrow's weather conditions and track temperatures should be similar to today, which would be better for us.”
Giulio Bernardelle – Technical Director, KONICA MINOLTA Honda
“What has helped us today has been the change in the weather and the harder Michelin tyre, but we have also found our way with the overall settings and made a few adjustments to the suspension, gearbox and geometry of the Honda RC212V. I think that with more time we could also see an even bigger improvement, as the feeling is that this package has much more potential than the standard bike, but finding the perfect setting will take time. Time has been too short to arrive at a good compromise, but the overall balance of the bike is better. Today was important as Shinya was able to run in the 59s on race tyres and maybe tomorrow we can take that down still further. Our Michelin tyres seem to prefer higher temperatures, so if the weather is the same tomorrow we can possibly use the harder tyre which will give us the same performance but improved endurance.”
Konica Minolta Honda