Konica Minolta Honda Remains for Testing

By: Zeke Gervis

Many riders and teams from the recently held Catalan MotoGP race, stayed on for a one-day testing at the 2.9mile Montmelo circuit. Shinya Nakano, rider of Konica Minolta Honda, spent most of the day in the load. In the morning, he spent three hours on circuit and in the afternoon he spent four hours while he and his team were testing the Michelin tires and different suspension settings to further enhance the feedback from their 800cc Honda RC212V race vehicle that is equipped with performance quality .

The Konica Minolta Honda Team had positive results during the whole day test. Their 29-year-old Japanese rider recorded a lap-time almost a second-and-a-half more agility than his best during the previous 25-lap race. Towards the end of the day, Shinya had a low-speed crash at the second-gear corner called La Caixa at the end of the back-straight. Fortunately, he did not suffer any injuries. For the remaining 15 minutes of the day, he was still able to use his second bike.

Shinya Nakano said that the crash at the end was not a big problem. He and the machine just lost grip at the front and so he fell. He assures the fans the he is definitely fine with no injuries. He is glad with the results of the whole day testing due to some enhancements to the feedback from the front of the bike by changing to different specification front forks. The team also tried a different rear shock this time and Shinya believes that the front and rear combination balance was better than the previous race. Six different Michelin rear tires were also tried which he believes would be of great help in the up coming Donington Park race. He is more confident for the next few races because of the better record that the team got during the whole day testing.

Giulio Bernardelle, the Technical Director of Konica Minolta Honda, said that the testing was very important considering the team's present need to enhance the overall technical package. He finds it necessary to schedule a time for the testing of some different set-up configurations and checking of some other things because it is hard to do such things on a normal race weekend.

Before trying new tires, the technical team started first working on the suspension settings from the race setting used on the previous race. They attempted to find a new solution to improve both the rear suspension and the front forks.

The team was really impressed with the results they got from the testing, though they were not able to find big improvements because they really did not expect to. They believe that it is necessary to make small refinements with the technical package they already have at their disposal. And this strategy is what they are doing in preparation for the next round of the MotoGP series in Great Britain.

Giulio was particularly impressed with Shinya's crash that 15 minutes later, the rider went out on track again and completed the day's testing with his second bike and having a lap-time almost a second-and-a-half more agility than his best during the previous 25-lap race.

The MotoGP season will resume at Donington Park in Great Britain in two weeks from now.

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