Nakano has a better feeling with the bike
The KONICA MINOLTA Honda Team made more progress on the third and final day of the MotoGP tests here in Qatar.
With the season opener taking place at the Losail track in less than a month's time, it was important that the
team worked hard with rider Shinya Nakano and the new 800cc Honda RC212V to get a good set-up for the bike and test a selection of Michelin tyres in preparation for the 2007 season opener here on 10th March.
The 29-year-old Japanese rider did a total of 73 laps today and improved his time by about three-tenths of a second to record a best lap of 1'56.980”.
Next weekend the Team will travel to Jerez in southern Spain where they will join the majority of MotoGP teams at the official IRTA tests. This three-day session over Friday to Sunday will be the final tests of the year before the season begins at the Losail circuit on 10th March.
Gianluca Montiron – Team Manager KONICA MINOLTA Honda
“The Team leave Qatar after having found a good front Michelin tyre, which is very important on the new 800cc bike where corner-speed is vital to a good lap time. We are confident for next week's test where we will try to improve settings still further to give Shinya an even better feeling with the front tyre. At Jerez, we will also leave time for our rider to adapt himself to the Michelin qualifiers so we can get a good grid position for the races. Shinya and the Team have taken things step-by-step, for us now it's the time to improve our overall race pace.
During these winter tests we have noticed that it's not easy for anybody to find the best balance with the new bike on the different tracks, but as far as we are concerned we are satisfied to see how the new Honda RC212V is improving on average test-by-test.”
Shinya Nakano – Rider, KONICA MINOLTA Honda (73 laps – 1'56.980”)
“During these three days on the Losail track, I did the best I could and rode hard. I'm happy about the level of feeling I'm now getting from the front tyre, as this was our target during this test and we've achieved that. Every test I make with the new bike, I'm able to make a further step forward and I hope to move ahead again next week during the IRTA test. This is vital if I'm to be in the best shape for the first race of the season here in Qatar in 2007.”
Giulio Bernardelle – Technical Director, KONICA MINOLTA Honda
“Shinya's feeling with the bike has improved over the three days and this was our target for these early winter tests. Yesterday afternoon and in the second part of today we worked on the selection of tyres from Michelin which will be used here in the first race weekend of the year and we are satisfied of the level of performance and consistency that the front tyre has demonstrated here. Unfortunately, we did not have the best combination with the rear tyre and this is the main reason why Shinya was not able to be faster but we are not worried about the race weekend, as it should present the same weather and temperature conditions out on the track.”
Konica Minolta Honda