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Montiron: "The challenge is to unite Latin passion and oriental methodology"

Montiron: 'The challenge is to unite Latin passion and oriental methodology'

Montiron: "The challenge is to unite Latin passion and oriental methodology"

The work plans of the Konica Minolta Honda team were extraordinarily affected at the start of this season as a result of the injury sustained by Japanese rider Makoto Tamada. As Tamada is the sole track-representative of the team, Konica Minolta Honda relies heavily on him to achieve the team aspirations in the World Championship. As a result of Tamada´s injury, and subsequent inability to participate the follow GPs, the team was forced to replace him in China with Dutch rider Jurgen van den Goorbergh. The character and the personality of this team, peculiarities and all, brings something different to the race paddock. Team Manager Luca Montiron lets us in on some team secrets

Q: What are the ups and downs of racing with only one rider?

A: It has its advantages and disadvantages but in the end there can only be one winner. Our team wants to continue along a very well defined road and our sponsors have given their support because we represent something different from the rest of squads.

Q: What differentiates the team from others?

A: Never before had such a prestigious sponsor like Konica Minolta invested in a motorcycle team or, that I remember, supported Japanese riders. I believe that our group contains the basic elements, a jewel such as the Honda RC211V and a rider like Makoto who thanks to the support of Konica Minolta the team can develop its own methodology of work without a time limit. Although, the purpose of the team is to reach the maximum results in the shortest time possible.

Q: What's your opinion of Makoto?

A: The previous year, and during the winter tests, Makoto clearly demonstrated his potential, beating the main competitors on more than one occasion. Although to actually win a championship is another thing. But someone who has the talent and ability that he has demonstrated cannot be overlooked. The unfortunate accident in Estoril has compromised part of the season, but that does not affect to our objective, which is to continue working to show that we are an alternative to the riders that win every GP. Although the classification, after these three races, for the time being tells us that we are not a valid alternative.

Q: New categories are useful also to find young riders who in the future could ride the monsters with four cylinders and represent valid alternatives.

A: I follow with a lot of interest minor championships. JiR (Japan Italy Racing) would like to activate to promote this sport and give to the riders the possibility to express theirs potential whatever country they come from. Thanks to our actual partners we have this possibility and I hope that Konica Minolta Honda Team could represent a beginning of a medium-long term program.
In a category such as the MotoGP, time is necessary for the rider to age and make that necessary step to compete at the top. Following particularly the Japanese market the curious thing is that there are four important motor manufactures in the MotoGP, but this sport isn't as popular as it is in Europe. I believe that Honda also in this case wanted to be the leader company to represent a clear example for all the constructors.

Nowadays Spain is the right directions to follow for the inferior championships since thanks to Dorna, they have created a valid formula. We have to create valid inferior championships that could represent a valid opportunity for young riders to show their abilities.

Q: What is your best championship memory?

A: I have had the luck to work with all the Italian riders that today participate in MotoGP, and with each one of them I have won at least one World Championship race in the 250cc category. But the nicest memory perhaps is the Tetsuya Harada Championship in 1993. It quickly established and defined our 250cc resolve. It is perhaps the reason that I have a certain devotion to the oriental culture.

Q: How much effort has the team put into this project?

A: I carry out my work with extreme passion and the objective of our challenge is to unite the Latin passion with the oriental methodology, to somehow melt these two cultures into one. I am very convinced that we have taken the correct road by choosing to have Makoto with us in 2005; as a result our team breathes a distinct air.
Makoto the past year received many offers to race directly for some motor manufactures, but the feeling he has with us is unique because all of us strongly believe in what we are doing. The pure demonstration of this, is that the rider decided to commit his sportive career to JiR, without that we could furnish him a technical guarantee. The biggest certificate of trust from the rider which pay any sort of economic recompense.


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