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Post Whore Extraordinaire
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Its official guy....courtesy of crash.net

The Konica Minolta Honda team has confirmed the worst kept secret in MotoGP - that Makoto Tamada will leave the team after this weekend's Valencian season finale.

Tamada took a podium in his debut 2003 season in MotoGP, and then scored two victories during 2004, but the switch from Bridgestone to Michelin tyres resulted in only one podium in the two seasons since.

"I know I've been part of a project completely dedicated to me and I know very well how lucky I have been," said Tamada. "The four years I spent with my working group were fantastic; as a rider, but also as a man, I learned so many things that will become precious in the next future.
"At the beginning everything was so natural, victories included; the latest seasons, characterised by results under our potential, made me realise that, perhaps for all, it was the time to find new motivations. I took this decision because I know what the team made for me and I feel that, even for them, it is now the right moment to renew the enthusiasm. I am grateful to Konica Minolta, Honda and all the partners for their support.

"A special thank to all the team guys for their firm trust in my possibilities throughout these years and to Luca Montiron who always made the difference in every situation, making me understand the true passion for the job he does and with whom, just a look was necessary to understand each other. At Valencia I'll greet my team defending the Konica Minolta Honda Team colours at the Top. I wish JiR, which will remain 'my team' forever, all the success it deserves," he concluded.

"The years spent with Makoto will leave a permanent mark in my memories for the strong emotions we lived, for all the efforts we did, for the deep belief and will we had in always doing our best to support him," added general manager Gianluca Montiron. "Thanks to Makoto, a person with good professional and human skills, we started the development of a project completely dedicated to the young riders' generations.

"This represented the starting point of our challenge supported by the trust of a company as Konica Minolta which, for sure, determined the first decisive step towards a further development. Makoto, with his willingness and reliability brought a huge contribution to JiR's project. I hope he could find the right position in a team reflecting his aspirations, where he could continue his career and express his potentials at the top. I'm sure he'll make us live other emotions," he concluded.
Tamada is set to be replaced by Kawasaki's Shinya Nakano, with the Konica Minolta Honda team also expected to switch back to Bridgestone tyres for 2007. Meanwhile, Tamada's best option looks to be Nakano's now vacant ZX-RR ride alongside Randy de Puniet, also on Bridgestones.
 

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hopefully Konica Minolta will have nakano at the helm next year and get better results
 

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Post Whore Extraordinaire
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Discussion Starter #3
yeah thats basically a done deal from what ive read elsewhere, but strange last minute deals have happened.
 

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I am anxious to see what Nakano can do on an 800cc Honda. I'm sure we'll see him on a couple podiums if he joins that team.
 

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and also see how his new helmet will look lol..i may have to pick that one up
 

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Tamada Goes to Tech3 Yamaha

Tamada has joined the Tech3 Yamaha team for 2007 and will continue to test for Dunlop tires again. Which is good considering he never really felt comfortable on the Michelins when the Konica team switched to them.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
nice, this reshuffle of the teams should make next year a interesting championship.
 
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