Estoril : Konica Minolta Honda - Day Two
After a hard-fought qualifying characterized by a succession of riders at the classification top position, the starting grid of the penultimate round of the 2006 MotoGP World Championship was defined today.
The results are
remarkably important in a Championship where the World Title still has to be assigned.
Tamada finished his qualifying with the fastest time of 1'37.517 set on the 23rd lap of the session; tomorrow, he will start from the fourteenth position of the grid.
Makoto was not able to obtain considerable benefit from the use of qualifiers and this penalises him in respect to the lap time with race tyres which, today afternoon, permitted him to easily stay in the best ten riders.
One more time, the KONICA MINOLTA Honda Team will be forced to make up positions during the race.
The Grand Prix of Portugal will see Valentino Rossi starting from the Pole Position, set with the quickest time of 1'36.200 lowering the circuit best lap, clocked in 2005, by one second; the first ten classified have all improved last year Pole Position.
Tomorrow, instable weather conditions are expected. In case of rain, all values could be revolutionized.
Gianluca Montiron KONICA MINOLTA Honda General Director
In the first part of qualifying, the situation was really better for us with race tyres. Makoto was the fourth fastest rider for a long time. Compared to yesterday, the lap time was 2, 3 seconds lower.
In the final part of the session instead, he was not able to have good performances with qualifiers and then we will start from the fourteenth position which is not the ideal on a circuit whose layout does not permit easy overtakings.
Makoto Tamada KONICA MINOLTA Honda Rider (14° - 1'37.517")
Today, the satisfying set up we could define permitted me to make a considerable step ahead with race configuration. Unfortunately, as I could frequently verify during this season, my feeling with the bike changes a lot with qualifiers. This impedes me to make the best use of these tires grip. I count on a good start for tomorrow's race as I think I have all necessary skills to stay among the best.
Konica Minolta Honda