Chinese GP: Konica Minolta Honda Saturday notes

Top ten fight-back for Konica Minolta Honda in China Konica Minolta Honda bounced back from yesterday's practice session to record the tenth fastest time at the Shanghai race circuit today. Team rider Shinya Nakano slashed nearly three ...

Top ten fight-back for Konica Minolta Honda in China

Konica Minolta Honda bounced back from yesterday's practice session to record the tenth fastest time at the Shanghai race circuit today. Team rider Shinya Nakano slashed nearly three seconds off his lap time around the long 3.387mile circuit after the Team reverted back to a previous machine set-up. The 29-year-old former 250cc GP runner-up recorded a best time of 2'00.157" and was lying as high as fourth during the hour-long session. Weather predictions for tomorrow's 22-lap race aren't looking positive, with rain forecast for the afternoon.

Gianluca Montiron - Team Manager Konica Minolta Honda

"We would like to be higher up - of course we would - but compared to yesterday we are happy. We have gone back to a setting used in the last two races and by doing so Shinya has recovered the feeling he had with the machine. For tomorrow's race I think it will be important to get away from the line well and be as near as possible to the lead group. The weather forecast says rain for tomorrow, but they did say that for today too, so who knows? At the moment we have to improve the performance of our overall technical package, as it doesn't allow Shinya to ride as he would like. It doesn't give him the feeling and feedback he needs to have the confidence to push hard and go fast. After this race we need to analyse the situation with our technical partners and find a way forward. The positive for the Team is that we can see that the direction we went in at the start of the season with set-up was the right one."

Shinya Nakano - Rider, Konica Minolta Honda (40 laps - 2' 00.157" - 10th position)

"We had a meeting after practice yesterday and decided to go back to our previous standard settings which helped. I also tried to improve my riding and checked all my braking points and found my lap times getting better and better. I think we made too many changes yesterday so the Team helped me and things improved when we reverted to the previous set-up. We also had improved top speed today thanks to some gearing changes. We have found a tyre for the race tomorrow, which should be good as I have quite a good feeling with it. Rain is forecast for tomorrow, but I would prefer a dry race - I think everybody does!"

Giulio Bernardelle - Technical Director, Konica Minolta Honda

"Our standard settings that we had from the last couple of races seem to be the best compromise for Shinya at the moment. We have no chance to change the machine characteristics of the new Honda RC212V so things aren't perfect but Shinya's confident he can push harder with the settings we have and rider confidence is vital. With the new 800cc machine many riders' comments seems to be the same and we've discussed this many times with HRC technicians. Other riders can mask the bike's characteristics, particularly on race tyres, but it's a trait of this bike and at this stage in the season there's no possibility to change it. After our good wet-weather test after Jerez, I think we are in good shape if it rains, so let's wait and see what the weather does tomorrow."

-credit: kmh

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Shinya Nakano