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Montiron analyses the 2006 Honda

Montiron analyses the 2006 Honda

Montiron analyses the 2006 Honda

In an exclusive interview with Konica Minolta Honda team manager Luca Montiron, the Italian reviewed the preseason and the final Jerez test, with only 10 days left before the start of the season.

How has your final preseason test been?

"You only have to look at the results to see that things didn't go so well for us. We had some problems with the tyres when the bike was in race configuration. We didn't try a hot lap with qualifying tyres, as since we hadn't found the correct set-up there was no point."

It looks like you have more problems with the front tyre

"For the time being we still have to discover what the rider's needs are. Every rider has his own, and Tamada is no exception. We still have to see if it's mainly a matter of the rider or the bike/tyres package."

What are the main differences between the RC211V 2005 and the 2006 model Tamada is struggling with? "Actually Tamada is feeling good about the new bike, it is just a matter of approach. This year Makoto choose to take things in a calmer manner, last year during preseason he was riding hard in every track, was always one of the fastest, breaking circuit records and so on. This year he's adopted a more prudent approach."

What about Honda bikes striving to keep up with others bikes pace, is this mainly a general delay of the RC211V development or a matter of Michelin tyres affecting the results?

"I believe that one factor is Honda's decision to count on a new batch of young riders, and this may have affected the progress of the bike's development. Also, with regards tyres, we had two quite different situations: in Sepang and Australia weather conditions and temperatures were of a certain kind, whilst in Spain, first in Catalunya and then Jerez, we had to cope with quite low temperatures. The feeling with the bikes changes depending on many factors, temperature is one of those. Certain riders are quicker to adapt to this kind of situation, whilst others need more time."

"Will there be enough time during the first free practice to test everything that remains, such as the qualifying set-up?

I think it's quite a difference between when you have three days in a row to test and when you're just given a couple of hours to define your race set-up. This is a situation shared by everyone, and that's why I'm quite optimistic. We are not so far off the leading guys, in terms of race pace."

"What about Tamada, what do you expect from him? We'll see as the season starts. I think this is a decisive year for Makoto, he will not have a better chance than he has right now."

MotoGP, 2006

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