2006 MotoGP Championship - Round Eleven - Laguna Seca, USA - July 21/22/23 - Coverage by MCNEWS.COM.AU
Konica Minolta Preview
|The 2006 MotoGP calendar is very
strict. After the German Grand Prix held on the Sachsenring circuit
last week end, Makoto Tamada and his Team are already travelling to
America where, on Sunday July 23rd, only the MotoGP riders will be
on track again for the 2006 eleventh GP at Laguna Seca in
California, before summer break.
The spectacular Mazda Raceway circuit saw the return of the MotoGP to America in 2005, after a very long stop started in 1994, and underwent to a modernisation phase, maintaining unchanged the track length but enlarging the run-off areas, replacing the kerbs and modifying part of the main straight.
Tamada, as many other riders, ridden on this circuit for the first time last year, ending one of his best 2005 season races in seventh place with a total time of 45’37.867”.
The hope is that the Japanese rider will recover good physical conditions after two days ago fall, caused by an overtaking attempt of Roberts Jr.
All the KONICA MINOLTA Honda Team has many expectations placed upon this American race after having seen Makoto absolutely competitive in Germany.
Gianluca Montiron – KONICA MINOLTA Honda General Director
“It is not easy to get over the disappointment we had in Germany when the Roberts Jr sliding stopped Makoto’s race in advance when he was demonstrating to be competitive at the top levels. We will have to make the best use of the occasion represented by the coming United States Grand Prix. In America we will check again the conditions of Tamada’s left knee after the strong shock he suffered at Sachsenring. The first tests made by the “Clinica Mobile” medical staff were encouraging about the possibility of a complete recover and I’m sure our rider will be determined to have good performances during the entire race week end.”
Makoto Tamada – KONICA MINOLTA Honda Rider
“I’m still aching for the contusion my left knee suffered last Sunday at Sachsenring. I feel confident I will recover fast and be ready to be on track again for Friday two free practice hours. I’m really sorry for the big occasion I lost in Germany; the rhythm I kept during the laps I covered was very high and I’m convinced I could remain there with the others up to the end. Last Sunday I had good feelings when driving my Honda RC211V and that’s what I want to feel again at Laguna Seca. I can not wait being on the American track to demonstrate the competitiveness level we reached.”
Giulio Bernardelle –KONICA MINOLTA Honda Technical Director
“The Laguna Seca circuit has some absolutely unique characteristics, the most famous is the “S” corner named “corkscrew” but it also presents interesting analogies with the German Sachsenring circuit we raced last week end. Even the American circuit runs anti-clockwise, the weather conditions and the ground characteristics should not be very different from what we found last Sunday. Furthermore, Laguna Seca track has strong altimetrical variation and the downhill part after the finish line recalls the German circuit a little. For this, we could start working on our bike set up from the good base we obtained last week.”