Shinya Nakano to kick off Honda’s ‘09 preparations

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Japanese rider Shinya Nakano will begin Honda’s 2009 MotoGP preparations in Brno this weekend when he rides next year’s satellite RC212V for the first time.

The Gresini Honda rider will campaign a V4 bike similar the current factory model used by Spaniard Dani Pedrosa, which will form the basis of the bike leased to customer teams like Gresini and LCR Honda next season.

Nakano, who has scored points in every race so far in 2009, said: “My crew and myself have been given a great challenge for the this weekend, taking a completely new bike to the track - an RC212V similar to the one ridden by Dani Pedrosa.

"At the start of the season you have all the time you need to set a bike up and adapt it to your riding style whereas now we’ll have to do it against the clock.

"From the first free practice we’ll have to work flat out and hope that the weather is on our side because we will need all four sessions to fully understand the bike. In any case, the chance to ride it at Brno, a technical circuit that is used a lot for testing and is one I really like, makes me optimistic.

"On paper the new bike is more powerful than the one we’ve been using so far, which is an important factor at this track.”

Team boss Fausto Gresini added: “HRC have entrusted our team and Shinya Nakano with development of the 2009 satellite version Honda RC212V – a decision that gives us a lot of satisfaction and consolidates our status as a leading team in the eyes of Honda, as we have been for several years.

"We’re really happy to have this opportunity and we will give our best to make the most of it. Riding the evolution machine is also a good chance for Shinya, who has been selected because of his good reputation as a development rider as well as for his native language.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt