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MotoGP - The Sepang tests have started for the Konica Minolta Honda Team - February 15th 2006

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    First day of test for the Konica Minolta Honda Team and its rider Makoto Tamada at the Sepang circuit. The day has been characterized by the typical Malaysian weather; air temperature exceeding the 35C, track temperature over 50% in the middle of the day and a humidity rate over 70%. In the afternoon, just before 04:00 pm, a light shower has interrupted the team work. The programme of work had normally started at nine in the morning but, unfortunately, the rain interrupted it two hours before the end of the session.

    The 52 laps the Japanese rider carried out has been mostly dedicated to the set-up research of the suspensions and frame geometry of the RC211V using already tested Michelin tyres.

    The day has been useful for the technical staff of Konica Minolta Honda Team. They have had the possibility to examine closely the 2006 version of the bike used some days ago in Phillip Island for the first time.

    Luca Montiron - Konica Minolta Honda Managing Director;

    "I feel satisfied of today's test. This winter we did our best to improve the organization I've had the opportunity to see here at work. I feel the need to thank everybody, and in particular, I have noticed that the members who have recently started collaborating with us are already well-integrated in the Team. The atmosphere inside the Team is good and this is very important because Makoto does not feel any pressure difficult to manage".

    Makoto Tamada - Konica Minolta Honda Rider (1.33.665 - 52 Laps);

    "I'm really satisfied of this first day test even if we have been forced to stop the session two hours in advance because of a shower which made the track unusable. We have concentrated our efforts in the set- up of the bike to get the good feeling that tomorrow will allow us to start working on the new tyres Michelin will supply during the coming season".

    Giulio Bernardelle - Konica Minolta Honda Technical Director;

    "The first day of test can be considered positive even if the times are not of absolute value. We have deeply checked different setting solutions for the rear suspension and front geometry. These are the most evolved parts of the new RC211V. Tamada's feeling is constantly getting better and times naturally lowers. The rider seems to be satisfied of the method of work we have decided to adopt for the pre-season tests".