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Konica Minolta Honda reflect positively on test

Konica Minolta Honda reflect positively on test

Konica Minolta Honda reflect positively on test

The mood in the Konica Minolta Honda camp was one of satisfaction on Tuesday evening as management, technicians and rider concurred that they had achieved their objectives over the three days of tests in Sepang.

With Makoto Tamada still getting to grips with Michelin tyres after switching from Bridgestone and the Japan Italy Racing team only recently founded, Team Manager Luca Montiron said the onus had been on adjusting to the new situation and taking things one step at a time.

"It was the first test of the season and for this reason it was important to check that everything was right," said Montiron. "We made a lot of radical changes from last season from technical and managerial point of view. Naturally, we need time to organise everything.

"I consider the test sessions as fundamental to give Makoto the chance to understand the character of the RC211V, working in the best situation. We don't feel any pressure and we want just follow our way. I'm sure we'll be ready and in the best possible shape by April 10th in Jerez de la Frontera at the beginning of the season."

Tamada ran up around a thousand kilometres over the three days in searing heat, with ambient temperatures of 38ºC on Tuesday, but agreed with Montiron that hard work was the only solution at this stage of their ambitious new project.

"I have to tell you that I'm tired, because we have tested a lot of material," said the Japanese rider, who took two victories in 2004. "The target of this test was to gather confidence with the machine after the winter break and to discover the technical characteristic of the new tyres, which is a big change for me.

"I like Sepang and I consider it to be one of the few circuits very useful to test the evolution material."

Technical Director Giulio Bernardelle added that Tamada's progress had been swift and says the mechanics are already looking forward to returning to Malaysia for the next session on the 11th February.

"We're already at a good technical level," said Bernardelle. "Next time here in Sepang we'll start to work on the 2005 machine, so we'll begin to study settings and strategies to use during the season. Here we had the possibility to collect a big quantity of data, very useful to understand how to evolve our RC211V for the new technical situation.

"Thanks to Michelin we had the chance to test a lot of tyres, particularly rear ones. Makoto seems to appreciate the new tyres and he didn't shirk the necessity to do a great number of laps. Now we'll be able to really plan all the upcoming tests before the first round of the season."

MotoGP, 2005

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