San Marino GP: Konica Minolta Honda preview

A new Misano beckons for Konica Minolta Honda and Shinya Nakano The Konica Minolta Honda Team arrive this weekend in the Principality of San Marino for the 13th round of the 2007 MotoGP championship. The last time the premier class machines ...

A new Misano beckons for Konica Minolta Honda and Shinya Nakano

The Konica Minolta Honda Team arrive this weekend in the Principality of San Marino for the 13th round of the 2007 MotoGP championship. The last time the premier class machines visited the track on the Adriatic coast was back in 1993. Since then the track has changed considerably. Not only has the 2.5 mile circuit been resurfaced, it's also now running in the opposite direction - clockwise instead of the previous anti-clockwise direction. The circuit itself was designed back in 1969 and hosted its first event in 1972. It held its first international event in 1980 and its final 500cc GP in 1993. With the racetrack effectively being completely new to all the teams, there will be an additional practice period taking place on Friday, giving all the riders much-needed track time on the unfamiliar circuit. The 2007 tyre rule - which sees just 17 rear and 14 front tyres allowed in each rider's allocation - will also be expanded to 15 fronts and 19 rear tyres. As the series enters the final third of the season, it's vital that the Konica Minolta Honda Team get improved results, so the whole Team will be working hard from Friday morning to ensure that Shinya Nakano's Honda RCV212V machine is ready for Sunday's 28-lap race.

Gianluca Montiron - Team Manager Konica Minolta Honda

"The test at Brno was vital for us to give us information for the final part of the season. With new parts our expectation is higher than before, but it does take time to get data on these parts and find an improved setting. Shinya has not been able to push because of a front-end chatter problem, so we will be hoping that this does not affect him in Misano. The interesting thing for the race is that the circuit is new to everyone and to the tyres, so it should make this weekend a very exciting one for race fans!"

Shinya Nakano - Rider, Konica Minolta Honda

"The test after the Brno round was very important for us and we are hoping to continue our hard work at Misano. We didn't find a solution for the chattering problems which afflicted us at Brno, so that's still our main aim, but we were able to find some improvements in the bike's settings which hopefully will give us a base from which to work from when we arrive at Misano. It's going to be interesting to head out in the first session, knowing that it's a new track to all of us."

Giulio Bernardelle - Technical Director, Konica Minolta Honda

"Our Brno test was very important for us as we needed as much time as possible with the new parts before this weekend's Misano race. This track has been completely renovated, and it is very different to the last time GP bikes rode there. With time in the practice sessions so short, it was important during the test to understand the updated machine in time for Misano where time will be spent learning the new layout of the track, a track which we have no data for. It is good that we will have an additional practice session on Friday. This track will be new for everybody, so hopefully we can work hard and get a good result."

-credit: kmht

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Series MotoGP
Drivers Shinya Nakano