Jerez : Konica Minolta Honda Day One
KONICA MINOLTA Honda finished in a lowly 17th place in an admittedly close-fought opening practice session for the second race of the 2007 MotoGP season.
KONICA MINOLTA Honda rider Shinya Nakano was 10th during the morning free
practice, but following the timed afternoon session he slipped down the order. Now the Team will be working hard and looking at the data to ensure that the 29-year-old Japanese rider is much further up the grid tomorrow during the afternoon's timed qualifying session.
Many riders failed to equal their promise shown a month ago at the official IRTA test, including Nakano. In testing, Shinya did a 1'40.242 on qualifying tyres but on race tyres he set a best of 1' 41.269 showing that there should be more to come from the former 250cc championship runner-up tomorrow.
Gianluca Montiron Team Manager KONICA MINOLTA Honda
We have to be positive when we look at these results as tomorrow is another day. It wasn't so easy for us as Shinya wasn't able to make the same lap time as during the IRTA test here a month ago. Obviously none of us expected to face this situation, so we need to check the data and support our rider to get back to the front of the field. We will consider going back to the same set up as winter testing and hopefully get closer to that test lap-time. We have to consider that we tested some different tyres today so we're confident to improve our performance and aim for a grid slot on the first few rows. We have some more tyres to test tomorrow and Shinya will try to be more aggressive in riding.
Shinya Nakano Rider, KONICA MINOLTA Honda (50 laps 1'42.199)
Quite simply it was not my day today. We now have to look forward and I'm looking for the same sort of times as from the IRTA test or better. We also need to understand why we are in this position. The feeling from the bike is a little different, even with the setting being similar, but the bike doesn't turn as well and I'm not getting such a good feeling from the front-end of the machine.
We had a similar problem in the morning and adjusted the suspension settings for the afternoon, so maybe we've not gone in the right way. I need more confidence in the front tyre but I'm sure the Team and I can find it.
Giulio Bernardelle Technical Director, KONICA MINOLTA Honda
We are not satisfied because if we were making the same lap time from the test we could have been in 6th or 7th position at the end of today. We started from same set-up as the test but the lap-time was not so good in this morning's cold temperatures. The afternoon session had similar temperatures to the IRTA test, so our position is puzzling for us. Shinya said his feeling is not so good on the entry of the corner as he reaches his limit quickly and from then he finds it hard to improve over time. He also finds it hard to hold his line in the corner. Today we tested two completely different settings for the number one bike and the spare bike, so our first decision tomorrow will be look at our settings and work with our tyre partner Michelin to find a way to get more feeling with the front tyre for Shinya.
Konica Minolta Honda