Italian GP: Konica Minolta Honda preview

'Home' race beckons for Konica Minolta Honda at Mugello Konica Minolta Honda heads home for round six of the 18-round MotoGP series as they return to Italy and the legendary Mugello racetrack. With almost a third of the season already...

'Home' race beckons for Konica Minolta Honda at Mugello

Konica Minolta Honda heads home for round six of the 18-round MotoGP series as they return to Italy and the legendary Mugello racetrack. With almost a third of the season already complete, Konica Minolta Honda are hoping for a good showing at their home circuit, which starts a run of four races in a busy four-week period. A week after Mugello comes Catalunya, two-weeks later is Donington Park and then Assen a week later, so it's hoped that a good showing at home could give added momentum to move the Konica Minolta Honda team back to the front of the pack.

Gianluca Montiron - Team Manager Konica Minolta Honda

"Mugello will be our home GP and for us this is an additional motivation to obtain a good result. We have many guests and sponsors during this weekend and for sure the atmosphere of the Italian GP will give us more pressure than usual. I believe the track is very technical and it has many different types of corner and the rider has to find the best line through every sector of the circuit to get a good lap-time. If Shinya can be consistent at Mugello I think we'll be in good shape for the following race, because the characteristics of the Catalunya circuit are very similar. After the French Grand Prix at Le Mans we organized a meeting in our racing department with our team members and we evaluated how we can improve our performance during the GP weekend. I believe at the moment we need to concentrate our efforts to give detailed information to all our Technical Partners because we need to work together to find a way to re- join the top group of riders. We have four races in June and this year many riders and different manufacturers are up there, so the level of the premier class is very high with the new technical regulations having a major influence on the spectacle and direction of the championship."

Shinya Nakano - Rider, Konica Minolta Honda

"Mugello is effectively Konica Minolta's home GP for the team so I will give my maximum all through the weekend! People are always talking about my Mugello crash from 2004, which happened down the very fast start- finish straight. I still remember and it was very fast! Sure it was scary, but the track holds no fears for me as since then I have returned to the track and this year will be my first at Mugello with my new Team, new bike and different tyres. We know what our problem has been so far this year - I can't carry the corner speed I want, but I do believe we can do better at this race. I like the track a lot and if you find a good setting you can enjoy it. It's a high-speed track, so if your bike isn't set up so well then it's not so easy to get a good lap time! I won the 250cc race here in 2000 and I rate that as one of the best races in my career. So why shouldn't we aim for a good result on the 800?"

Giulio Bernardelle - Technical Director, Konica Minolta Honda

"This is our home Grand Prix so we really believe that we can do something good here. To help us we are hoping again for new material from Michelin so we expect to have something important to use during the week end. This will be the most important technical news for us at Mugello. It is a very fast track and flowing and is one of the most wonderful circuits in the world! The main straight isn't a straight, as such, and there's a hill at the end and I think that this and the lay out of the track will see the faster 800cc machines not having such a marked speed advantage like we've seen at places like Shanghai and Losail. Let's hope that we can be nearer to the front of the pack from first practice on Friday."

-credit: kmh

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Shinya Nakano