Twelfth position for Konica Minolta Honda at Laguna Seca
Konica Minolta Honda's Shinya Nakano took a hard-fought 12th position in today's US MotoGP race. The 29-year-old Japanese rider started the race strongly and then spent the rest of the 32-lap race battling with the likes of Anthony West and Makoto Tamada in a close battle in the middle of the field, before finally slipping back with front-end issues to finish 12th at the flag. The MotoGP championship will now have a three- week break until the next round of the series, which takes place in the Czech Republic at the Brno circuit on 19th August.
Gianluca Montiron - Team Manager Konica Minolta Honda
"At the start of the race our situation was very good as Shinya was able to stay in the second group and his rhythm was good for half the race, but after that I think our technical package was not as quick as some of the other riders. I think Shinya felt that some issue limited his riding and a chattering problem occurred when the tyres were a little past their best. I think today even if the result is similar to what we have experienced before, we can see that Shinya was able to stay and fight with the second group of riders and this is a positive thing and it is good for our rider's motivation. Now we have a break until Brno so we have the possibility to get something new from our Technical Partners, which we hope will give us similar equipment to some of the other teams which will aid our overall performance."
Shinya Nakano - Rider, Konica Minolta Honda (12th position)
"We started so well for this race. I could stay with the riders in front and we managed to get up to 8th on the first lap. We slipped to 9th, but I felt good, as my lap time was better than practice so I felt that the setting was good and the tyre choice was OK. Then from the middle of the race I felt some front chattering problems and with this happening I couldn't push hard towards the end of the race and things got a little bit worse. This was a big shame as our qualifying position was quite good. It has proved to be yet another difficult race, but I'm looking forward to the next race at the Czech Republic after I've had some rest at home in Japan. We should have some new parts which makes the second part of the season very exciting for us."
Giulio Bernardelle - Technical Director, Konica Minolta Honda
"We are a little bit disappointed as this was maybe our best weekend to get a good result from the technical point of view. Perhaps our problem was that we were unable to find the best tyre for the conditions. We went for the softest tyre in our allocation but it was not enough. At the start of the race our situation was not so bad, despite the fact that there was not a lot of grip. Shinya started well but from the middle part of the race we could see that his situation was getting more difficult lap-by-lap. This was a shame as the combination of Shinya and the Honda RC212V was pretty good here at Laguna, but we just seemed to have some problems in the last half of the race."