Positive Portuguese start for Konica Minolta Honda and Nakano Shinya Nakano put his Honda RC212V into the top ten in this morning's practice session for the Portuguese Grand Prix. In the afternoon session the 29-year-old Japanese rider made...
Positive Portuguese start for Konica Minolta Honda and Nakano
Shinya Nakano put his Honda RC212V into the top ten in this morning's practice session for the Portuguese Grand Prix. In the afternoon session the 29-year-old Japanese rider made some overall improvements but had slipped down the order to 16th. He left it until the dying moments before finally moving up to 15th place overall. In the afternoon's session he shaved around four-tenths of a second from his earlier time. With the Michelin tyres giving the former 250cc rider more feedback than ever before, he and the Team are confident that tomorrow they can make further improvements to the set-up of his Honda RC212V.
Gianluca Montiron - Team Manager Konica Minolta Honda
"Today I think the rhythm was so much better from Shinya and he was also very consistent. Obviously looking at the times we need to be faster, but it was very positive to see that he was able to make consistent lap times today in both sessions. It's also good to see that here in Estoril our Michelin tyres seem to work quite well. Tomorrow we think that Shinya could make another move forward and could be in a good position overall after tomorrow afternoon's qualifying session. I would like our target to be in the first two rows for the qualifying practice. So top eight is our goal!"
Shinya Nakano - Rider, Konica Minolta Honda (52 laps - 1' 38.761")
"This has been a good Friday for us. This morning was very positive and so was the afternoon, although there wasn't much of a difference in actual position compared to our other Fridays. The improvement is that I'm getting a much better feeling with the rear tyre. This is a big improvement and it helps me keep up my corner speed. I enjoy this track and I hope to make more improvements tomorrow. We already have a good feeling with race tyres and we've found two or three that are pretty good and could be potential race tyres for Sunday afternoon."
Giulio Bernardelle - Technical Director, Konica Minolta Honda
"Today we can say we've had the best Friday so far this season - not so much for final position this afternoon - but the gap between 1st position and Shinya was just 0.8seconds, which is an improvement for us. This is principally due to the rear tyre that worked very well today. We have already been able to test all our tyres for the race and have a good idea, which we'll use as a race tyre. Another positive point is that we've not finished our work on the bike yet, so I think we could find another one or two seconds tomorrow with some more changes. The conditions here were really hot - more than 40-degrees track temperature - so I think Michelin tyres will work well all weekend if conditions stay the same. Our only real problem is that our engine is not quite as strong as we would like down the long, main straight and this is a problem as at the end of the straight is the best place to overtake. We will see what improvements we can make for tomorrow."