“What I was aiming for”
The KONICA MINOLTA Honda Team took tenth position at today's San Marino and Riviera di Rimini Grand Prix.
Team rider Shinya Nakano got a good start from 14th on the grid, moving up to 9th position on the first lap before slipping back down
to 11th a few laps later. Eventually the 29-year-old Japanese rider was able to establish a consistent rhythm in the middle of the race, before taking tenth place at the flag.
The championship now moves on to Portugal in two weeks time before the three ‘fly-away' rounds in Japan, Australia and Malaysia.
Gianluca Montiron – Team Manager KONICA MINOLTA Honda
“I think in the first part of the race the top three riders made the difference being able to set a completely different rhythm to all the other riders. After the crash in front of Shinya he was able to make up some places, but then wasn't able to push as hard as he would like. His rhythm was not so bad, but still a little off the mid-pack runners. I think from a positive position we now have more experience about the chassis and engine parts that arrived in the Czech Republic and the situation is coming a little better for us, but we need a more consistent improvement race-by-race. We were the third Michelin team home today and I think today's result shows that so much relates to the tyre situation which isn't to our advantage at the moment. I want to say that we still have trust in our technical partners of HRC and Michelin and we must now concentrate on the next race.”
Shinya Nakano – Rider, KONICA MINOLTA Honda (Final position - 10th)
“I didn't get too bad a start at all.
I saw the accident on the second corner and managed to escape that and was also able to overtake some other riders so that was OK. In the middle of the race my lap times were probably better than any other time over the weekend, which make me feel quite positive. Just at the end of the 28-lap race I tried to follow Colin Edwards but couldn't close the gap to him, then during the last few laps I lost my rhythm a little and got overtaken by Alex Hofmann, but he out-braked himself and I was able to hold my 10th position to the line. The bike felt OK after we made the modification this morning and had quite a good feeling from the front, so from this I was able to make the improvement in lap time and the overall set-up wasn't bad at all. I'm OK with a top ten, as despite being disappointed with how things went after first practice, a top 10 was what I was aiming for from this weekend.”
Giulio Bernardelle – Technical Director, KONICA MINOLTA Honda
“This morning we managed to obtain a good compromise with the overall setting and tried to use a softer choice for the rear tyre and our performance in the morning was good. Shinya's lap time was not so far from what he did with a qualifying tyre but it was not possible to use this for the race. Instead, we went back to use another tyre, but we found that we had a problem with our grip performance which was simply not enough for the race. We managed to get the top ten result in part due to the number of riders who were not able to finish the race, but this is more experience for us with the updated RC212V and we will head to Portugal hoping for improved performance overall.”
Konica Minolta Honda