“Our rider pushes hard”
After two races on previously tested-on tracks, Istanbul Park will be a challenge for all the teams as they run their 800cc bikes on Turkish soil for the first time.
It will be another stage of adjustment for new Honda rider Shinya Nakano,
who is still refining his performances on the Michelin-shod RC212V but, as Team Owner Luca Montiron told us, the Konica Minolta Honda team are always looking to make improvement possible.
With two races already gone, how is the 800cc era looking to you?
“With the new regulations, everything is more exciting and the MotoGP Championship is giving even more fun to watch for the spectators. With so many riders so close together, like at Jerez, and also with the performance similarities between the various machines, things are looking very even this year.”
What do you expect from Shinya Nakano at the next race in Turkey?
“In Jerez he did a great job in the qualifying session, taking seventh on the grid. During the last lap of the warm up he crashed and that affected his race, but the Championship is long and I trust in the technical package that we have. I think in Turkey we'll be able to better evaluate the situation, because it is the first time that we'll race at a circuit where nobody has tested the new 800cc machines. I believe that the strategy of the tyre makers will make the real difference in riders' performances. In every race we take part in, we want to be competitive and fight with the leading group. To be competitive and win is why we race!”
Which is the main point that Konica Minolta Honda has to improve this year?
“I think that our rider has to adapt his riding style a little bit more to the Honda machine on Michelin tyres, which are new to him.
From the technical point of view the bikes' performances are very similar and the difference will be determined by his riding style. The team have to better understand Shinya's needs in order to be faster right from the first day of practice.”
Do you think Shinya has too much pressure on him for results?
“In our team everybody knows their responsibility and nobody puts any pressure on Shinya. He is a professional rider and professional riders put pressure on themselves to get the results. For sure he knows when it is the right moment to take a risk. My feeling is that our rider pushes hard without having the results on the stopwatch, this is why he has to learn more how to use the bike and technical package at his disposal better. From Turkey we'll try to approach practice sessions in a different way to see if results will change.”
Do you think it would be a positive move for Konica Minolta Honda to have two riders in the future?
“With another rider we could make a comparison and get different data inside the same team; it should be an incentive, a stimulation for each rider to improve – this is the nature of competition! At the same time I believe each rider has to be determined to obtain success and I think this is the simple reason that permits each rider to be competitive and to make the difference.”
How are the team pushing to make a difference this season?
“This is our team philosophy, and I think that this element distinguishes us from the others. We have a small but flexible organization with a clear identity. I believe that the facts are perfectly clear: to better understand the work of our marketing and communication division you only have to see the name of the sponsors present on our machine. We offer our sponsors and technical partners support in the area of marketing and communication and this is vital in today's world. Furthermore, we have an engineering division focused on the design and development of motorcycle components, technical accessories and equipments to be used on commercial motorcycles that are destined for bike-sport use. We try to be creative always offering something different in comparison to the others. This is our identity. We consider ourselves more than just a mere MotoGP team.”
DORNA / CAPSIS International