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KONICA MINOLTA Honda 12th in Australian Grand Prix practice session
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Changeable weather conditions have once more been the hallmark of the first practice sessions for this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix

Changeable weather conditions have once more been the hallmark of the first practice sessions for this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix. Shinya Nakano and his KONICA MINOLTA Honda Team spent today’s two sessions adapting to the conditions and testing both slick and wet Michelin rubber. The mixture of wet and then dry weather in both hour-long sessions made for tricky track conditions around the undulating 2.764-mile circuit and the wind in the afternoon also made the going difficult around this exposed Island track. Tomorrow the Team will work on improving the turning capability of their Honda RC212V machine and test a number of Michelin tyres to find the best combination of set-up and suitable rubber for Sunday’s 27-lap race, whatever the weather conditions.

Gianluca Montiron – Team Manager KONICA MINOLTA Honda
“I think today wasn’t very exciting as we had these changeable weather conditions once more. I expected a better result here, but the weather conditions haven’t helped us. It’s the same for everybody, but this low temperature will not help Shinya be aggressive on the bike, so the result of our first practice day is that we’re in the same position that we’ve been in most of the season – 12th. I think every team and rider is hoping that the weather will be more stable for the rest of the weekend so that we can work on the set-up of the machine in either wet or dry conditions and make some progress.”

Shinya Nakano – Rider, KONICA MINOLTA Honda (47 laps – 1’ 33.838”)
“Today we have experienced some very difficult conditions as it’s been both raining and windy today. It was dry at first this morning but then down came the rain again – you really never know what the weather is going to do here! The forecast for the weekend is not so good so I tried to make many laps today to find a good feeling from the bike in all conditions. We are still far from the top, but we will improve and we do now have some data for tomorrow with which we can make some changes. The wind makes it difficult here, as on some fast corners you have to take care in case you get blown off line.”
Giulio Bernardelle – Technical Director, KONICA MINOLTA Honda
“We have enjoyed some typical Australian weather here for the time of year here as this is just about the worst time of the season to be at Phillip Island! Today our major problem was that the temperature was very low as it barely touched 24 degrees on the ground.  With the conditions continuously changing between wet and dry in the second free practice session, this meant that it was not possible to do a lot of work today. This morning we found a good front wet tyre but we haven’t made a choice on the rear, so if it does rain tomorrow we need to test some more tyres from Michelin. Our dry set-up is not so bad, but we need to improve the turn-in of the RC212V, so that it falls into the corners quicker. Tomorrow we will make some changes so we are confident we can improve this. The slick tyres we were able to use today were the softest choice available, thanks to the low temperature, but this choice will not be practical for Sunday’s race, so if the conditions are dry tomorrow we will need to choose again.”

Australian GP - Free practice classification
  1) Casey Stoner Ducati   1’ 31.132”
  2) Marco Melandri Honda  1’ 31.555”
  3) Dani Pedrosa Honda  1’ 31.802”
  4) Valentino Rossi Yamaha  1’ 31.934”
  5) Randy de Puniet Kawasaki 1’ 31.996”
12) Shinya Nakano Honda   1’ 33.838”


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