Because of a front-end chattering problem
Shinya Nakano and his KONICA MINOLTA Honda Team took 13th place at today's Australian Grand Prix.
The 30-year-old Japanese rider made a good start from eighth position on the grid and managed to get into a good rhythm while
inside the top ten, but from the middle of the race Shinya began to experience some front-end chatter from his RC212V in Phillip Island's slower corners and dropped back through the pack to 13th position at the flag.
The Team now immediately travels to Malaysia and the Sepang circuit for next weekend's penultimate race of the 2007 MotoGP calendar.
Gianluca Montiron – Team Manager KONICA MINOLTA Honda
“Today the result is similar to others we've had this year but at least we took some more points. We would have wished for a better result after such a good grid position, but this is the way racing is sometimes. Shinya decided to use a softer tyre as he got good feeling from it, but from the middle of the race he lost a little confidence and began to lose his rhythm. I think the weather conditions and cool temperatures over the weekend meant that it was difficult for all the riders to choose the right tyre. At the beginning Shinya made a pretty good start but from the middle of the race he lost a few tenths of a second per lap compared to the front group when he encountered a chattering problem. We now go straight to Sepang and hope that the winter tests will give us a good basis for machine set-up for the weekend. Our target is to get a better result and try to improve our final World Championship ranking.
Shinya Nakano – Rider, KONICA MINOLTA Honda (13th)
“My start wasn't too bad – it's nice to start from the third row for a change. Initially I found I could stay with the middle group at the start of the race. My pace at the start wasn't too bad – I was actually faster than during practice – so I was enjoying myself. Unfortunately from the middle to the end of the race I couldn't keep my rhythm going. Our problem was chattering from the front-end of the RC212V when under hard braking for the two hairpin corners. I think what we need to do is start Friday with a faster lap-time and then make changes from there to find a setting that works better when we're going faster in the race. That's what I want to do next weekend in Sepang. I like the track a lot and want a good result for the Team and myself.”
Giulio Bernardelle – Technical Director, KONICA MINOLTA Honda
“Conditions today were much drier and warmer than earlier this weekend, but the temperature was still not so high, 34-35 degrees of ground temperature. This morning we finalised the tyre choice for the race. We tried a hard compound but it seemed not to work for Shinya so we went with a softer tyre, which seemed like the best compromise for our technical package today. Our main problem was that from the middle of the race Shinya had some chattering problems in both the hairpins and in the second hairpin he lost two or three positions and found he couldn't overtake other riders going into that corner, so he decided to keep position and get to the flag and score some more points.”
Konica Minolta Honda