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The Konica Minolta Honda Team starts its 2006 MotoGP season - January 30th 2006

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    The beginning of the Konica Minolta Team 2006 season is planned for January the 31st in Phillip Island. The team will be engaged in three days test on the fast Australian circuit. For the second consecutive year, Makoto Tamada will rely on a high level technical package: the Honda RC211V with Michelin tyres.

    It will be the first contact for the obstinate and determined Japanese rider who will be focused on a redemption season after the 2005 compromised by the accident he suffered during the second race.

    Afterwards, the Team, will move to Malesia for the three days test in Sepang from February 14th to 16th, then it will start the European Season with the Irta Test scheduled at the Montmelo circuit in Catalunya from March 3rd to 5th and in Jerez de La Frontera from March 10th to 12th. The start of the World Championship is fixed for March 26th at the Spanish circuit of Jerez de La Frontera.

    The Konica Minolta Honda Team confirms its programme oriented to give stability to its MotoGP project. For this reason, JiR, the Italian-Japanese organization running the Team managerial and technical activities, has widened its staff.

    Luca Montiron - Konica Minolta Honda Managing Director;

    "This year our sport target is to compete with the best in every race. Our rider can count on one year experience with the same technical package. The whole staff will work for the forth season with Tamada, therefore now it's time to capitalize this experience.

    From a technical point of view, we are second to none, we are convinced that our Engineer Giulio Bernardelle, has everything he needs to put Makoto in the best conditions for every race.

    We start the winter programme from the Australian test, from a track having the most suitable conditions to examine the setting strategies for the first part of the season. Another JiR prefixed aim is to develop an organization in synergy with Konica Minolta to permit to all branches worldwide to be an active presence and an integral part of the 2006 MotoGP project. A well articulate job which represents the particular characteristic of the JiR offer to its Partners."

    Makoto Tamada - Konica Minolta Honda Rider;

    "Since my debut in the 2003 world championship, I have always run with the same staff and this avoided me to miss my homeland. I must say that the atmosphere in the Konica Minolta Honda Team is really professional, but at the same time it seems to live in my family and this, for the riders, is a significant aspect. I am in a key point of my competitive career, I feel confident we will achieve the results we all hope. The winter tests will be very important to find the right feeling between the RC211v and me. We must work hard, no distraction is admitted."