Assen beckons for Konica Minolta Honda and Shinya Nakano Shinya Nakano returns to the scene of his best-ever MotoGP result when he races at Assen in The Netherlands this weekend. Last year, the 29-year- old secured second place in an ...
Assen beckons for Konica Minolta Honda and Shinya Nakano
Shinya Nakano returns to the scene of his best-ever MotoGP result when he races at Assen in The Netherlands this weekend. Last year, the 29-year- old secured second place in an action-packed race and he and his Konica Minolta Honda Team hope that they can also snatch a good result at the Dutch TT. Tyre partner Michelin also has an excellent record at the track as the French tyre giant has never been beaten at the Dutch circuit since 1991. With just days between the British and Dutch GPs the Team packed-up immediately after the Donington Park race yesterday and headed across the North Sea to mainland Europe and Holland. This will be the second race at the newly-configured 2.8mile Assen circuit. The month of June has been a frantic one for the MotoGP paddock with the Dutch GP being the fourth race in as many weeks. After Assen there's a two-week break before the German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring on 15th July.
Gianluca Montiron - Team Manager Konica Minolta Honda
"The Circuit Van Drenthe has long been known as 'The Cathedral' of motorcycle racing and it is always exciting to go there to race, even if the track has recently changed so much. Once more I think we will see the weather force us to make some changes, depending on whether it's wet or dry. Whatever the conditions are, I think we have to quickly find and improve our set-up from the Thursday practices to help Shinya feel more comfortable with the new RC212V machine so that he can get into a good rhythm with the bike earlier in the weekend. This will help us, meaning that we will not have to bridge such a big gap during the final qualifying hour."
Shinya Nakano - Rider, Konica Minolta Honda
"I think I'm probably one of the few riders who actually prefers the 'new' Assen circuit to the old one. I am sure it does have something to do with qualifying well in second position last year and then taking second place in the race! Obviously this will be the first time I'm riding at Assen with the new 800cc Honda MotoGP bike and the first time on Michelin tyres, but I think the track itself now really suits my style, so I'm hoping that we can get a good result. We think that the weather conditions will be similar to Donington, so we shouldn't have too many surprises from last weekend."
Giulio Bernardelle - Technical Director, Konica Minolta Honda
"Assen has changed a lot recently and this will be the first race there with the new RC212V 800cc MotoGP machine Because of the big changes it's not so much of an old-style 'road' circuit anymore, but is more like one of the more modern tracks, but it's still challenging in its own way. The very changeable weather conditions and temperatures we experienced last weekend at Donington will, I think, be similar to what we can expect at Assen. With the Dutch TT being less than one week after the British Grand Prix, we will not have any time for any major changes to our technical package, but Michelin has been working hard for us since the start of the season and recently we've found some improvements, particularly from the front tyres, so we will be testing some of these at Assen and hoping that they will help us find an improved machine set-up."
-credit: konica minolta