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14th for KONICA MINOLTA Honda and Shinya Nakano at Malaysian GP
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After a difficult Friday practice, things have improved for the KONICA MINOLTA Honda Team, with Shinya Nakano cutting more than two-and-a-half seconds from his Friday time.

After a difficult Friday practice, things have improved for the KONICA MINOLTA Honda Team, with Shinya Nakano cutting more than two-and-a-half seconds from his Friday time. The 30-year-old Japanese rider was in the top ten for part of the qualifying hour as he took advantage of softer qualifying rubber, but by the time the chequered flag came out he had been pushed back to 14th place on the grid. He and the Team know that they still need to refine the settings on their Honda RC212V machine in time for tomorrow’s 21-lap race at the 3.447-mile circuit.

Gianluca Montiron – Team Manager KONICA MINOLTA Honda
“Today situation is very similar to Phillip Island as Shinya was able to push hard for one lap only.  We’ve improved the setting of the 800cc machine and he was faster than this morning. I think the new asphalt on the circuit is difficult for everyone. The circuit is hard on tyres anyway, but this and the new surface and possible high temperatures will mean riders may need to change their riding styles as the race progresses. Shinya’s style is very sensitive and he has not been able to get a good feeling from the hard compound tyres, so it’s necessary for us to find some new settings for his machine. Tomorrow it’s important that we will be able to stay with the second group, then we could get into the top 10.”

Shinya Nakano – Rider, KONICA MINOLTA Honda (40 laps – 2’ 03.233 ”)
“No rain today but we and everyone else are still struggling with this new track surface. In the afternoon we improved a little with suspension settings, but we’re still looking for quicker turning into the corners and overall a better feeling from the front of the bike. At the moment I cannot keep my corner speed up, or keep a decent speed when entering the corner. Tomorrow morning we will try and find a better setting in warm-up. We will keep hoping for the best and never give-up as the race is long and the conditions still could be changeable.”
Giulio Bernardelle – Technical Director, KONICA MINOLTA Honda
“At least the weather is much better than yesterday! We have made some improvements from Friday and our feeling with the tyres is better than yesterday, but our overall improvement was not enough to be able to stay in the top 10. With the qualifying tyre we were having problems and we found it difficult to get the machine settings just right for this track. Yesterday our problem was a lower temperature affecting things, this afternoon the temperature was more what we are used to, but this showed us that things are very different from our winter tests. We still do not have enough grip or feel for Shinya to be comfortable as when he pushes hard he goes off-line and loses a lot of time. For this reason we have tried some modifications to increase the level of mechanical grip from the bike and improve the balance of the RC212V machine. Shinya said that the improvements have worked, but these steps forward haven’t been big enough, so tomorrow morning we will make some further changes to improve our situation still further.”

Malaysian GP - Qualifying practice classification
  1) Dani Pedrosa Honda  2’ 01.877”
  2) Casey Stoner Ducati  2’ 01.918”
  3) Marco Melandri Honda  2’ 01.944”
  4) Randy de Puniet Kawasaki 2’ 02.107”
  5) Anthony West Kawasaki 2’ 02.202”
14) Shinya Nakano Honda   2’ 03.233”


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