“We're pretty satisfied today”
Shinya Nakano returned to testing today at Phillip Island having recovered from a fever and stomach cramps that cut short his first day of Australian testing for his KONICA MINOLTA Honda team.
The 29-year-old Japanese rider was feeling
much better today after a long rest overnight and immediately set about testing suspension settings and new front tyres for the team.
With the weather also much improved, Shinya could put in many more laps today, finally clocking up 89 laps of the 2.76 mile (4.45km) Australian circuit. The hard work paid off with a much-improved lap time of 1'31.355” – almost a full second quicker than yesterday – helping Shinya move up on the unofficial lap time leaderboard.
A fast lap time was not the overall aim, instead rider and team continued to work on the bike set-up, working on suspension settings in the morning and then spending the afternoon testing the new Michelin front tyres. With Nakano having to adjust to a new team, new bike and new tyres, both rider and team felt this was a very satisfying day after yesterday's problems and are confident that they're heading in the right direction as they approach a good set up for the new Honda RC212V.
Testing will conclude for the KONICA MINOLTA Honda team at Phillip Island tomorrow.
Shinya Nakano – Rider, KONICA MINOLTA Honda (89 laps – 1'31.355”)
“I'm very sorry for the team that I was not 100% fit yesterday and that I was not able to cover so many laps. Today I feel so much better and having been able to cover many more laps we have obtained lots of information that has led us to a finer set-up on the new Honda RC212V.
Today we started to test the new Michelin front tyres and tomorrow this hard work will continue with some new rear tyres to find a good balance for the bike. I'm very happy about today's work, even if I know I'm far from my best lap time at this early stage in testing. The important thing is that at the moment my feeling with the bike is getting better and better and the communication with the staff in the team is improving daily and getting easier and easier. This is vital, as in testing it's not just the bike being developed, but the relationship in the team. At the moment, we are trying to make a good solid foundation for what we all know will be a fruitful collaboration for the future.”
Giulio Bernardelle – Technical Director, KONICA MINOLTA Honda
“Today we worked intensively on suspension, in particular we tried to gauge how the changes we made affected the bike and how sensitive Shinya was to these changes. This job is normally done in first phase of winter test when we start to familiarise ourselves with the new materials and parts we have for the year. We are pretty satisfied today because we now know that Nakano's feeling for the bike is getting better every time he goes out on track. Also his capacity to explore the performance of the new Michelin tyres improves as a consequence at exactly the same time. In the afternoon we made spent a long time testing the Michelin front tyres and we have been able to get a very clear idea about their performance and give this valuable information to our partners at Michelin who develop these tyres.”
Konica Minolta Honda