Steady progress for Konica Minolta Honda at final GP of 2007 Shinya Nakano and the Konica Minolta Honda Team made steady progress during the first practice session for this weekend's final MotoGP race of the year. Shinya and the Team were ...
Steady progress for Konica Minolta Honda at final GP of 2007
Shinya Nakano and the Konica Minolta Honda Team made steady progress during the first practice session for this weekend's final MotoGP race of the year. Shinya and the Team were struggling a little with the lower than expected temperatures at the 2.764-mile circuit. The Team altered the weight balance of their Honda RC212V machine to try and give 30-year- old Nakano more feeling from the front-end of the bike in Valencia's challenging tight turns. Tomorrow it is expected that temperatures will be higher - more like the normal conditions at the Ricardo Tormo circuit for the time of year - which should lead to more grip from the circuit and improved laptimes. Once more the times were close amongst the MotoGP riders with just one second covering the top 13 riders.
Gianluca Montiron - Team Manager Konica Minolta Honda
"I think it's clear today that we have to find the perfect set-up for Shinya, as at the moment he is not able to ride the bike in a comfortable way. We also have a little bit of chattering and also need to finalise our tyre choice for the race. I expect that we will make a big improvement tomorrow, as I know that Shinya with qualifying tyres will be much faster than today with a race tyres! We can see once more that Valencia is a circuit that promotes close racing as the gap between each rider today was very small."
Shinya Nakano - Rider, Konica Minolta Honda (56 laps - 1' 34.352")
"Yet again we've had some low temperatures during the first day of practice, although this afternoon conditions were a little better. We tried four different tyres today - one or two were not so bad even if overall our position is not so good in 16th. That shows just how close it is again. The positive point is that I didn't have any big problems today. I tried to follow some of the other guys and see where I was losing time and I could see it was on the exit of the turns. Tomorrow we will make some alterations to improve our rear-end grip as this is important at such a technical track where you need to get out of the turns well to get into the next corner. I enjoy this place, I look back and have some good memories from Valencia - especially in the 250 class - so tomorrow I want to be much higher up."
Giulio Bernardelle - Technical Director, Konica Minolta Honda
"So we start our last Grand Prix of 2007. Basically today it was quite a similar situation to the last two or three MotoGP races, where we have found the temperatures quite low - much lower than normal here in Valencia for this time of year. Today the temperature on the ground was just 14 degrees. I think this has led us to suffer a little from a lack of grip and particularly the front feeling of the machine, which Shinya says is not so good. Today we tested some tyres and I think we understood which was the best direction to move in. In the afternoon we changed a lot of settings, including moving some weight to the front. This made the situation better, even if the lap time didn't improve so much. The important point is that Shinya is feeling better with the bike now and we're expecting higher temperatures tomorrow."