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Difficult conditions for KONICA MINOLTA Honda at Malaysian GP
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Changeable weather conditions have once more hampered the KONICA MINOLTA Honda Team’s progress during the first practice day for this weekend’s MotoGP race

Changeable weather conditions have once more hampered the KONICA MINOLTA Honda Team’s progress during the first practice day for this weekend’s MotoGP race. Team rider Shinya Nakano also suffered two harmless crashes today – one a result of a mechanical problem for the rider ahead of him when the 30-year-old Japanese rider collided with Chaz Davies and crashed. The second crash in the afternoon session happened at the end of the timed hour when the former 250cc GP runner-up was pushing hard to improve his time in the tricky conditions. It is hoped that the weather and temperature will improve in time for tomorrow’s qualifying session at the 3.447-mile circuit.

Gianluca Montiron – Team Manager KONICA MINOLTA Honda
“This morning Shinya was unlucky as there was a problem for Chaz Davies ahead of him and they touched and Shinya crashed. This compromised his practice session in the morning. Once more we have seen conditions during practice that haven’t been easy to handle for the riders! We’ve had some rain, then it’s stopped, then it’s dried out and we’ve gone onto slick tyres again. The feedback is that Shinya needs more feeling from the front tyre because he simply doesn’t have the feeling with the machine. In the last two laps of the afternoon session he was making his best lap time but was not able to finish the last lap as he crashed at turn four. It seems likely that the weather and temperature conditions will probably change again tomorrow and this along with the fact 70% of the track has new asphalt on it will mean that we will probably have to start again to find a good setting. We hope these conditions will change for the better so that Shinya will hopefully get some more grip from the front tyre.”

Shinya Nakano – Rider, KONICA MINOLTA Honda (29 laps – 2’ 05.939 ”)
“It’s not been my day today! This morning Chaz Davies was ahead of me and he had a problem with his engine and suddenly slowed in front of me and I hit him from behind. This afternoon I was pushing hard and lost the front, maybe because of the combination of our tyres and suspension not being perfect. The new asphalt and weather conditions makes things very difficult for all the riders. There are fewer bumps than before, which is good, but much less grip. Tomorrow we will work hard to improve our situation.”
Giulio Bernardelle – Technical Director, KONICA MINOLTA Honda
“Conditions have again been so difficult for us and we’ve had the two crashes, but these things happen. In the afternoon conditions were finally coming better and better. We started with rain tyres and then slicks, but the track was not completely dry, as it had wet patches in some corners. Shinya had problems with both the contact feeling and grip from the front tyre and this was the reason behind his second crash. He was behind Dani Pedrosa and trying to push hard, but lost the front. Whatever the conditions it seems we have to find more feeling and grip from the front-end of our Honda RC212V. Conditions have been difficult for all the riders today with the wet and the new asphalt, so if the weather improves tomorrow we will all be starting again to find a good setting for the race.”

Malaysian GP - Free practice classification
  1) Randy de Puniet Kawasaki 2’ 02.917”
  2) Casey Stoner Ducati  2’ 02.928”
  3) Marco Melandri Honda  2’ 03.661”
  4) Dani Pedrosa Honda  2’ 03.767”
  5) Anthony West Kawasaki 2’ 03.825”
18) Shinya Nakano Honda   2’ 05.939”


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