Although there's still work to be done
On an exciting day where lap records were unofficially smashed, Shinya Nakano made more improvements on-board his KONICA MINOLTA Honda.
With the second event of the season taking place here in just one month's time, it was important
to find a good set-up and tyre combination for the race.
Sandwiched between this important work came this afternoon's televised BMW M Award for the fastest lap which was eventually won by Valentino Rossi, with a lap of 1'38.394”. Rossi now leaves Jerez with a brand-new BMW Z4 M sportscar.
This lap time compares to Rossi's official lap record of 1'40.596” from 2005 with the larger-capacity 990cc MotoGP machines, while the previous best qualifying time belongs to Loris Capirossi with 1'39.064” set last year.
Despite wet weather and fog restricting useful track time over the three days, KONICA MINOLTA Honda are looking forward to the first race of the season which takes place on Saturday 10th March at the Losail track in Qatar.
Gianluca Montiron – Team Manager KONICA MINOLTA Honda
“Obviously we would like to be faster in qualifying trim as it is important to be on the front row come the race here in a month's time. However, at the end of the day we don't want to risk Shinya to crash and hurt himself so near to the start of the season. The big positive is that at the end of today he used tyres similar to those Valentino Rossi and Dani Pedrosa used yesterday and was setting consistently good lap times in race simulation.
We haven't tested all that we wanted to this weekend thanks to the poor weather on day one, but for the last two days Shinya has been in the top six or seven on race tyres so we're not too far off. Overall, as we look towards the first race in a fortnight's time I have been very pleased with the improvement of our rider!”
Shinya Nakano – Rider, KONICA MINOLTA Honda (83 laps – 1' 40.242”)
“I'm quite disappointed about my performance on qualifying tyres, but I could never put a perfect lap together. Also with qualifying tyres fitted the balance of the bike wasn't so good with a return of some chatter at the front-end of the bike. Thankfully in the afternoon we concentrated once more on race tyres and settings. With two tyres to test I did two series of 10 consistent laps and we learned a lot from that, so I'm quite happy and confident about our performance come the race here at the end of next month.”
Giulio Bernardelle – Technical Director, KONICA MINOLTA Honda
“This afternoon on race tyres our performance was better and that was what we were concentrating on over the whole weekend. While some other Teams continued using soft tyres, we looked at two choices for the race here. With the qualifying tyres we need to improve as Shinya is unable to carry the corner speed that he wants, so we think we need to make some machine setting changes to enable him to use the softer tyres to best advantage during qualifying. Overall we are pleased with the Jerez tests as we can see a big improvement since our first 2007 tests in January.”
Konica Minolta Honda