Konica Minolta Honda heads to high-speed Catalunya
Just days after a dramatic weekend at their home MotoGP race of Mugello, the Konica Minolta Honda Team head to Spain and the Barcelona track of Catalunya. With a few days to analyse the data from their home race, it is hoped that the Konica Minolta Honda Team will be able to improve the set-up and balance of their Honda RC212V machine before first practice on Friday. The 2.9mile Montmelo circuit is located just north of Barcelona and is similar in style to Mugello, with a long main straight and some fast and technical corners. Spanish fans also share a similar passion for motorsport as do their Italian cousins, so the race promises to be a popular and exciting event. The MotoGP season is now in full swing, with two further races in the month of June at Donington Park in Great Britain on 24th June and at Assen in the Netherlands on 30th June.
Gianluca Montiron - Team Manager Konica Minolta Honda
"Catalunya is very similar to Mugello and for this reason I think we will be in a similar condition with the bike - although hopefully not the weather, which was so changeable in Italy! We hope to have more time in dry conditions so we can understand better the technical situation with the new 800cc bike and to solve the current problem that we had in the Mugello race. This will be an important weekend for us as the MotoGP challenge will continue but perhaps more importantly after the race we will stay on for a day at Catalunya and have a test the day after the race. During this weekend we hope to get to the bottom of our problems with the consistency of our lap times. We have seen that Shinya can do competitive times early in the race, but the problem for us comes from middle of the race. As tyres go off every rider has this situation at the end of the race, but we need to find out why it happens to us a little earlier. I'm sure we will be testing some very different settings to try to find a solution."
Shinya Nakano - Rider, Konica Minolta Honda
"I like Barcelona and I love racing at the Catalunya circuit, it is a very special place! We saw at Mugello that we need to solve the problem of chatter from the front-end of the bike as it stops me pushing harder in the corners, but at least we can clearly see our problem so we know exactly what we need to work on. I love racing anywhere in Spain as the Spanish fans have such a passion for bike racing and MotoGP in particular. I enjoy the circuit layout, it is one of my favourites, so I'm hoping for lots of dry practice time as well as a good race on Sunday and a positive test on the Monday."
Giulio Bernardelle - Technical Director, Konica Minolta Honda
"The Montmelo circuit is very similar to Mugello, so this should hopefully mean that we can investigate and improve the consistency of our lap times. What is very positive is that during the last two GPs it is clear that Shinya is able to run closer to the best lap time from the top riders. Now we need to make this lap time consistent during the whole race as much as we can. We are entering a very busy period in the MotoGP season, so we will be working very hard with our technical partners such as HRC and Michelin to get improved results."