Jerez : Konica Minolta Honda – Race Day
Shinya Nakano took his KONICA MINOLTA Honda RC212V to a tough tenth place in today's Spanish GP at Jerez.
The 29-year-old Japanese rider's confidence took a knock during warm-up with a harmless crash on the last lap of the
morning session and this affected his performance at the start of the race. Starting from seventh on the grid, Shinya held that position before slipping back to 14th place as the race progressed.
Like qualifying, the race was close and hard-fought with Nakano battling with the likes of Chris Vermeulen, Kenny Roberts Junior and Alex Barros. Eventually after a race-long scrap Shinya's confidence began to return and he overtook Barros on the last lap to claim tenth place – identical to his result in the first round at Qatar.
The MotoGP season now sees a month's break before the third round in Turkey, but KONICA MINOLTA Honda will stay on at Jerez for a day's testing tomorrow.
Gianluca Montiron – Team Manager KONICA MINOLTA Honda
“After a crash it's always difficult for a rider to get straight back on and push hard once more and we saw that with Shinya this afternoon. Obviously we are not satisfied with this result as we want to be fighting with the leaders, hopefully our test tomorrow will help. We may try and find a completely different set-up to solve the problems that Shinya has in turning the machine in the early part of the corner. This is the main problem and at the moment the technical package we have is not allowing him to do this. Maybe we need to change his riding style a little and at the same time try to work with our partners Honda and Michelin to try and find a solution.”
Shinya Nakano – Rider, KONICA MINOLTA Honda (10th position)
“Another difficult race! My warm-up crash happened when I tried to carry more speed into the corner and lost the front. I made a good start in the race, but after a crash it's not so easy to push so hard from the beginning, so I lost a few places. When I started to get a better feeling from the bike, I tried to push harder again but we were having some chattering problems from the front. I tried to follow other riders and hung in there and on the final lap overtook Barros for 10th. Towards the end our rhythm wasn't so bad, but now I'm looking for more entry speed in the corner. Overall the engine is good and working consistently but now I just need to find a better feeling from the chassis. It's been an up and down weekend, but the Team are helping me and we will work together to solve our problems. It's important to get these points, but as soon as we have the bike to my liking, then I will push much harder.”
Giulio Bernardelle – Technical Director, KONICA MINOLTA Honda
“In the first ten laps we could see Shinya didn't have confidence in the bike, but the last part of the race was much better as he was pushing harder. We know that the set-up is not perfect for Shinya's riding style as he still asking for more speed in the first part of the corner. Now need to start to work on this point and to do this we need to look at the front tyre and our machine settings. It may also be possible to ask Michelin for a tyre more suited to Shinya's needs. We have discussed this with Michelin but it's a long process. Tomorrow we will stay on and test some rear tyres as we further improve our machine.”
Konica Minolta Honda